Work on Longoro irrigation project progresses

irrigationMr Clemence Kofi Humado, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Wednesday said a consultant was assessing  work for the preparation of bidding documents, advertisement, bids evaluation and finally the award of contract for the construction of outstanding works to begin on the new Longoro Irrigation scheme in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

He said funds had been provided in the 2014 budget for the completion of works on the 300-acre New Longoro Irrigation Project in the Kintampo North District.

Mr Humado who said this on the floor of Parliament when he appeared to answer a question tabled by Mr Stephen Kuntu, the Member of Parliament for Kintampo North, said land development of the 300 acres was the major outstanding work

He said land development would involve land clearing and leveling without which the flow of irrigation water on the field would be very difficult if not impossible.

He said the Ministry was committed to the completion of all on-going irrigation projects saying the Northern Rural Growth Programme had been mandated by African Development Bank to complete all outstanding work on the schemes and other Small Scale Irrigation Development Project (SSIDP).

Mr Humado said the completion of the project would ensure the provision of water for all year round farming in the selected areas to enhance food production.

He noted that despite the undeveloped nature of the land, some farmers had been using part of the land to cultivate maize and vegetables.

Mr Humado said since 2011, the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) had stationed an Agriculture Extension Agent on the scheme to provide extension services to farmers and test cropping started during the 2011/2012 dry season with 10 acres of okro.

In the 2012 wet season, the area was flooded so no planting was done. During 2012/2013 dry season okro was planted on 70 acres of the land, in the 2013 wet season 40 acres of land was cropped with okro, maize and rice and the crops are yet to be harvested.

The new Longoro scheme is a gravity irrigation scheme with its source of water being River Sameli.

A diversion weir has been built on the river to supply water for irrigation and the farmers have formed an irrigation farmers association which is registered with the Department of Cooperatives as the New Longoro Cooperative Irrigation Farming and Marketing Society Limited.

The contract for the construction of the scheme was signed with UNIQUESCO Ltd on September 22, 2002 and work began immediately but terminated on June 26, 2007 due to non-performance.

A second contract ended on September 30, 2009 when SSIDP officially ended.

Source: GNA

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