Agric Ministry told irrigation would ensure food security in Ghana

Mr Charles Gyimah, Central and Western Regional Manager, Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), has observed that food security would be reality when irrigation is promoted in the country.

He said the nation could not rely on rain-fed agriculture to achieve food security especially at a time when the country is also reeling under the global climate change.

Mr. Gyimah made the observation at stakeholders’ workshop on advocacy to restore a broken dyke at the Gomoa Okyereko Irrigation Dam at Okyereko on Wednesday.

He said it was only through irrigation that farmers could cultivate two or more times in a year to produce enough food to feed the nation.

The Regional Manager appealed to non-governmental organisations and donor partners to support government in creating dams and drilling of bore holes for irrigation.

The dyke at the irrigation dam which prevents farmlands from flooding was broken when River Ayensu broke its banks in 2010 which serves the dam.

Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) was advocating for the rehabilitation of the dyke to enable members of the Co-operative Rice Farmers and Marketing Society to do their businesses without interruption. It also funded the workshop.

Mr. Zachary A. Gbireh, Deputy Director, Project Designs Department of Projects Development, who represented Chief Executive of GIDA, said the contract for the repair of the broken dyke had been awarded and that the contractor would soon be on site.

He appealed to the farmers to exercise patience for the contractor to execute the project.

Mr Ericson Bright, Project Service Consultant for BUSAC Fund, said they decided to advocate for the rehabilitation of the dyke because of the havoc it had caused to the farmers.

He said the 125 acre rice irrigation scheme which could produce 8,000 bags of rice is now operating at half strength – 4,000 bags.

Mr Bright said farms were destroyed as roads leading to the farms were washed away due to flooding.

Nana Etsiful Ababio XI, Chief of Okyereko, said the irrigation project had been the heartbeat of Okyereko since it had reduce poverty drastically and also solved the unemployment problem facing the communities in the dam’s catchment area.

Nana Obuabeng Tawiah XVI, Chief of Gomoa Mampong, who chaired the function, urged GIDA to ensure that the dam was in good condition at all times to enable the farmers produce more food.

Source: GNA

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