Dr Scott Angele, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and president of the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) over the weekend toured the Botanga Irrigation project to inspect farming activities being implemented by the Centre.
The tour was led by Dr Amit Roy, outgoing Chief Executive Officer.
The IFDC is implementing the ATT project with funding from the USAID where farmers including women are supported with power tillers and their accessories to boost rice production and to encourage mechanized agriculture.
The field visit was also to help the new Chief Executive Officer of the IFDC get acquainted with the progress of the project and to interact with farmers and people of the Botanga community.
Addressing the chief and some farmers at Botanga, Dr Scott Angele expressed joy that IFDC’s intervention was improving agriculture production in the area and pledged to do more to sustain the programme.
He said the project also focused on women because women in Northern Ghana played a major role in farming as they did the land preparation, tilling, sowing, weeding and harvesting.
Dr Angele said the project enabled farmers to procure urea briquettes and ATT assisted in the setting-up the briquetting machine and eventually transferred the machine to local farmers at Botanga.
He said the project trained three women groups on rice transplanting and briquette placement, which had become an alternative income-generating activity for the farmers and that 16 lead farmers were supported with power tillers and their accessories to boost rice production.
Dr Angele said the introduction of the briquetting machine in the Northern Region had also provided an opportunity for 500 farmers at the Botanga Irrigation Scheme to easily access fertilizer briquettes.
Madam Fatimata Abdullah, a member of the Saakabo Women Farmers group, said the group was planning to open a bank account to save the proceeds from the new farming technology and to also loan money to individual group members to help support education of their children.
She said had earned enough money from the farming due to ATT project support and that she used part of the money to pay for her daughter’s school fees at the Senior High School.
Alhaji Mahama Amidu, Chief of Dalung, expressed gratitude to IFDC for the intervention to improve farming in the area and appealed for the training of more farmers in new farming methods to increase food production and help change lives.