The Government of Ghana is liaising with three different partners from both the United States and Brazil for expert advice and services on the proposed One Village One Dam Project, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has hinted.
The development partners, according to the Minister, will offer expertise as well as provide services on affordable and cost-effective irrigation services in the country.
Officials from both countries have already held talks with Government of Ghana on the possibility of assisting the policy of constructing these affordable but efficient dams, particularly in the northern regions of the country as part of efforts towards fulfilling the government’s agricultural policy.
Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who disclosed this at a Stakeholder Consultative Workshop on Ghana’s National Irrigation Policy organized by the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) said the development partners will introduce amongst others, modern irrigation systems such as mobile irrigation program which he said had the potential of providing efficient and reliable source of irrigation for more than 50 acres of land at a go.
He noted that the mobile irrigation can serve cluster of farms, stressing that the system will provide smallholders with a reliable source of irrigation especially during the dry season.
According to the Minister, government is seeking to introduce a paradigm shift in irrigation in the country, adding that the era of large scale irrigation system which does not guarantee all year round availability of water for farmers will soon be over.
Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto further hinted that plans are far advanced to relieve the burden of bearing the cost of electricity supply in irrigation farms off the shoulders of farmers even before the national policy of One Village One Dam kicks in.
“We want to make sure the farmers have adequate incentives and motivation to do their work. Government wants to bear the cost of electricity so that farmers can save their little earnings as preparations are underway to commence the dam projects,” He stressed.
The Food and Agriculture Minister further revealed that various committees have been put in place to conduct the necessary studies towards the implementation of the policy.
Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto also touched on the Planting for Foods and Jobs Policy which he said would spearhead government’s agricultural programmes in the first term of the NPP administration.