SADA will work through district assemblies to address poverty – CEO
Mr Gilbert Seidu Iddi, Chief Executive of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), has said the Authority will work through the district assemblies and civil society organisations to help address poverty in the North.
He said the northern part of the country has the potential to develop many sectors in agriculture and that the Authority would help modernize agriculture, add value to crops that farmers would produce and find markets for them.
Mr Iddi said this when addressing farmers at the 27th Upper Regional Farmers Day celebration at Gwollu in the Sissala West District.
He said the Authority would also encourage and promote private sector capacity building to fully harness the agricultural potentials of the North for the benefit of farmers.
Mr Charles Adams, Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, said research institutions have come out with high yielding, early maturing, drought and disease resistant varieties of crops and appealed to farmers to take advantage of them to increase food production.
He said there was the need for farmers to adopt the recommendations extended to them based on research findings in order to increase their yields and also improve on the quality of their produce and products.
Mr Adams said climate change has made it impossible to correctly predict the weather and that has dire consequences for planning and implementing agricultural activities, especially where crop cultivation depended on rainfall.
He called on district and municipal assemblies to enforce bye-laws on bush fires to help address the menace of bushfires in the communities which he said worsen the adverse effects of climate change.
Alhaji Issahaque Salia, Upper West Regional Minister, said sustainable modernisation of the food and agriculture sector could only occur when productivity and production improvements were based on strategic thinking, science and technology.
He called on farmers in the region to turn their attention to some of the non-traditional export crops such as mango, cashew and shea as well as industrial crops like cotton and moringa which the region has comparative advantage to improve their incomes.
Kuoru Kuri Buktie-Limann, Paramount Chief of the Gwollu Traditional Area, who chaired the function, said the erratic rainfall pattern had affected food crops performance in the area this year.
He commended government for its efforts to modernize agriculture but said much was still expected of government to promote agriculture to higher level to enable it to impact positively on the lives of the people.
Twenty-two farmers who distinguish themselves in food crops, animal husbandry and cash crops production were honoured with the overall best regional farmer award going to Mr. Sulemani Sumaila from Bullu in the Sissala West District.