Regional News Wed, 24 Oct 2012

A foreign partner to empower farmers of the Tono Irrigation farms

Africa Agriculture Company Limited, a foreign company, is to empower farmers of the Tono Irrigation project area in the Upper East Region to go into commercial farming.

The farmers over the years have been facing challenges including lack of improved seeds, poor yields, lack of market for their produce, lack of storage facilities and farming equipment for land preparation and harvesting. The Company, which is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Irrigation Company of Upper East Region (ICOUR) that is managing the farmers, would be introducing new varieties of rice, soya beans, maize and provide the farmers technical support.

They would also be supported in storage, marketing and land preparation.

Briefing the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mark Woyongo, about the project the team leader of the Company, Mr. Yasser Toor, said the company intended spending $24 million over a three-year period and would start with $3 million.

He said the reason for selecting the Upper East Region was that it had the biggest potential in terms of agriculture and with support, the good yields would improve upon the livelihoods of the people.

The Regional Minister who expressed happiness about the project said about 80 per cent of people in the Region are farmers and when supported would help reduce the poverty situation in the area.


He said ICOUR for the past years had been neglected by governments leading to challenges the farmers were facing and that was why the government was encouraging public/private partnership.

Mr. Woyongo said there were plans by the government to build a new irrigation facility at Sesili in the Builsa South District and another one at Pwalugu which would be used for irrigation and hydropower generation.

“All these, when completed, would provide jobs for people in the Region particularly the teaming youth who often migrate in search for jobs elsewhere,” he said.

Mr. Issah Bukari, the Managing Director of ICOUR, said the project had already started and his outfit was facilitating its implementation.

Source: GNA