Farmers in three communities of Dafor Agorveme, Afawode and Volo in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region have expressed indignation at what they claim is unnecessary ceremony to hand over irrigation projects to the communities.
The residents, mostly farmers expressed their feelings at a ceremony at Dorfor Agorveme to officially hand over irrigation projects to the communities on Thursday, May 17, 2018.
The Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) irrigation scheme jointly funded by African Development Bank (AfDB), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), had been sited at Agorveme, Afawode and Volo to enable farmers there to engage in an all year round agriculture production to improve food security and reduce rural urban migration.
According to the residents, the projects had been completed and handed over to the communities in August 2016, thus, did not see the reason for another handing over ceremony.
To them, what is needed is the repair of broken down parts of the project and reinstallation of stolen cables to get the facilities working because since the completion of the projects, they have not been put to use to benefit the residents in any way.
Secretary of Irrigation Farmers Association (IFA), also known as Water Users Association (WUA), Madam Grace Atta said members have never used the projects, citing, some faults detected at the facilities coupled with high expected cost of operation as reasons.
Meanwhile, Regional Manager of Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), Joseph Nartey in response said, the Authority has taken note of the issues and promised to resolve them.
He however, charged the people to take responsibility of the projects and help in the arrest of individuals who engaged in stealing of cables at the sites and other activities to undermine the purpose of the project.
An earlier inspection of the project sites by the Regional Minister, GIDA’s team, contractors, District Chief Executive for the area, farmer associations residents and the media revealed no farming activities at the irrigation facilities comprising pump houses, reservoirs and canals expected to water 41 developed hectares of land out of 65 at Agorveme, 20 hectares of land out of 74 at Afawode, and 47 out of 86 at Volo, at total costs of 2.4 million, 2.6 million and 1.4 million Ghana cedis respectively.
By: Ewoenam Kpodo/voltaonlinegh.com