KOICA, GIDA sign $6.5 million aid grant to boost irrigation
The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has signed a $6,530,000.00 grant with the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) to increase the amount of irrigation water supply for farming and irrigated farmlands across the country.
The Country Director of KOICA, Mooheon Kong, and the Ag. Chief Executive of GIDA, Richard Oppong-Boateng, signed on behalf of their respective institutions.
Dubbed, “The rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and improvement of irrigation water management project”, the grant will mainly be used for the rehabilitation of irrigation facilities and building the capacity of the water users association (WUA).
It was, therefore, aimed at increasing agricultural production and productivity of farmers on the public irrigation schemes, particularly, in the Aveyime Irrigation Scheme in the Volta Region and Ashaiman and Dawhenya Irrigation schemes in the Greater Accra Region.
Therefore, under the “rehabilitation of the irrigation facilities” component of the project, KOICA would provide $2,558,081.27 and technical support to the authority to manage, supervise and coordinate the project and be responsible for the delivery of its output within scope, time, budget and quality.
At the signing ceremony, Mr Kong noted that irrigation was critical in boosting agricultural production and to achieve food security, especially in the face of climate change, which had made rain-fed agriculture unpredictable and very risky.
“As a result, we must make intentional efforts and contributions aimed at managing and efficiently using water in agricultural production,” he added.
Mr Kong, therefore, stated that the project was in alignment with the agency’s commitment to supporting the country to promote sustainable agriculture technology and other support services to farmers.
“I want to assure you of KOICA's support in strengthening the bilateral relationship with Ghana in the field of agriculture and other mutual socio-economic cooperative initiatives,” the Country Director added.
Responding, Mr Oppong-Boateng commended the agency for taking interest in the country’s agricultural development, saying that in the era of climate change, any investment in the irrigation sub-sector could be the game-changer for agricultural transformation.
“These three rice growing schemes (about 500HA) contribute a lot to rice production and offer direct jobs to over 600 smallholder farmers and many indirect jobs in Ghana,” he explained.
In that regard, he said rehabilitation of the schemes was in line with the government’s vision of reducing rice importation which cost the country about $500 million annually because it would definitely increase rice production.
Mr Oppong-Boateng reiterated the authority’s readiness to ensure the success of the project by giving its full support and cooperation to KOICA through field data collection, design reviews and construction, and supervision of civil works