SAPIP courts Ya-Na’s support to boost agriculture
The Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP), has courted the support of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II, to encourage the youth to venture into agriculture.
To that end, SAPIP has supported the Overlord to cultivate over 300 hectares of farmland at Sanze, a farming community in the Mion District in the Northern Region.
According to the National Project Coordinator of SAPIP, Felix N. Darimaani, they decided to involve the Overlord in the project in recognition of his contribution towards empowering the youth and promoting agriculture in Dagbon.
Mr Darimaani said as the custodian of the area, his involvement in agriculture would motivate other chiefs and the youth to venture into farming which would go a long way to boost food production in the country.
He stated these when he led some officials of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to tour some farms at Sanze in the Mion District last Wednesday.
The farms, owned by Ya-Na and Mashoud Mohammed, 2021 National Best Farmer, received support from SAPIP to increase their production.
The SAPIP project, an intervention by the government which began in 2018, supports farmers in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) with inputs, technical services in terms of land preparation, uses appropriate machinery and market linkages, among other things, to increase the production of maize and soya beans.
The project seeks to transform the agricultural value chain and support farmers to produce maize and soya beans which are the major ingredients for poultry feed.
Currently, over 115 commercial farmers and a number of smallholder farmers are benefiting from the project.
Mr Darimaani indicated that aside from increasing yield, the project had also improved household nutrition, as well as boosted their income levels.
While acknowledging the support of the AfDB, he called for more funding support so as to scale up the project to reach out to more farmers.
For his part, the Chief Agriculture Policy Economist and Tax Manager at AFDB, Philip Boahen, commended the government for initiating the project which had contributed significantly towards the attainment of food security in the country.
He indicated that the AfDB had approved a $30 million grant to Ghana for the development of agricultural value chains in the Savannah Region.
The grant, he noted, would increase the climate-resilient production of maize, rice and soybean, support the poultry value chain and generate employment for women and the youth.
A beneficiary, Mashoud Mohammed, said “through the project, I have been able to increase my farmland. Before the inception of the project, I was farming less than 50 hectares and doing some little poultry, but after coming into contact with the SAPIP project, I am currently farming over 600 hectares of rice, maize, soya beans and cowpea".l