Government Secures Funds To Improve Irrigation
Government has secured $145 million from the China Development Bank and World Bank to develop 15,000 hectares for irrigated crops in the country.
In addition, plans are far advanced for the construction of the Accra Plains Irrigation Project (APIP) and expected to begin in September 2012. This was announced by Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture, at the “Meet the Press” series in Accra yesterday.
He said so far about 897 sets of pumps and 266 sets of sprinklers had been distributed to farmers in all 10 Regions for the cultivation of vegetables between 2010-2011.
Mr Ahwoi said for 2011, government increased its spending on subsidy on chemical fertilizer from GH¢30 million in 2010 to GH¢80.2 million in 2011.
“The fertilizer subsidy introduced four years ago has led to an average increased fertilizer application from eight kilogrammes per hectare to 10 kilogrammes per hectare,” he added.
He noted that the Ministry had managed to impound 44,740 litres of obsolete pesticides which would have been sold to unsuspecting farmers and waiting for advice from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on its proper disposal.
Mr Ahwoi announced that 70 dams had been rehabilitated in the Northern, Upper West and East Regions for livestock watering and household use.
“Out of the 70 dams, 30 have been equipped with facilities for irrigating 350 hectares while both phase one and phase two rehabilitation work on the Tono Irrigation Scheme has been completed.”
He said 100 rice and 20 maize combine harvesters were imported, assembled and deployed across the country, totaling 167 combine harvesters by the end of 2011 as compared to four in 2008.
“400 boreholes were drilled and mechanised for farmers to enable them have access to water for agricultural purposes,” he added.