Some women farmers at the Dissah community in the North Gonja District, Savannah Region, have received a solar-powered irrigation facility to help boost their economic condition through dry season vegetable production.
The project was implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) under the Market Oriented Agriculture Programme in North West Ghana (MOAP-NW), a component of the European Union-Ghana Agricultural Programme (EU-GAP).
The Jonny Royals Construction Engineering Company Limited constructed the €23,000.00 worth facility financed by the EU to contribute to Ghana’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on ending poverty and hunger.
Initial 40 women farmers in the community are currently benefiting from the easy-to-operate irrigation facility with a capacity to produce about 60 litres of water per minute and an acre land-sized fenced area.
Dr. Andrew Harberd, the Team Leader of the Private Sector Component of MOAP-NW, said the facility had the potential to generate income and improve nutrition and livelihoods in the Dissah Community, especially among women.
He said rural women in agriculture were challenged with ownership and access to productive arable land and the lack of access to information to make informed decisions on their agricultural enterprises.
“There is a need to channel required resources and infrastructure to women engaged in the sector to facilitate improvements in agricultural production and productivity”, he said
Dr. Harberd said the project would help contribute to the government’s agricultural sector development agenda in an era of climatic vulnerability and its consequences such as increasing erratic rainfall patterns which called for climate-smart agricultural solutions.
He said they would also provide good agricultural practices and water management training to the women beneficiaries which was expected to result in regular production of high-quality vegetables for consumption and for the market to improve their nutrition and income status.
Alhaji Seidu Sulemana, the Savannah Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, said the intervention was in line with the government’s agricultural sector modernisation agenda through the One-Village-One-Dam initiative.
He said his outfit would support the MOAP-NW to train the women on Good Agronomic Practices to enable them produce good quality vegetables for the market, especially in the dry season when vegetables became scarce.
Mr Abdul-Salaam Alhassan, the Community Mobiliser and Vegetable Expert at the MOAP-NW, said the land fertility had been assessed to be fertile enough for vegetable production before the facility was constructed.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed that the women had started producing vegetables using the facility even before it was handed over to the community.
“Currently we have not provided any training but as the community members are so enthused and know the benefit of it they have started producing vegetables.
“Our main aim is to train them on how to produce high-value vegetables like cabbage, tomatoes and okra to supply to bigger markets”, Mr Alhassan explained.
Some of the women, who spoke to the GNA, expressed gratitude to the benefactors and said they had begun reaping its benefits through the production and sale of the vegetables.
Madam Mary Maana, a beneficiary, said she made at least GHS50.00 to cater for her financial needs anytime she harvested and sold the vegetables.