This year, government will invest a total of GHc 80 million in capital expenditure (CAPEX) funded under the Annual Budget Funding Amounts (ABFA) for the agriculture sector.
Projects to be undertaken are expected to cover both irrigation and warehousing.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) indicates that CAPEX for five irrigation projects will amount to GHc 45 million, whereas 29 warehouse projects will cost a total of GHc 35 million.
The projects, both in irrigation and warehouse storage, will be funded from the ABFA allocation to the various MDA’s. However they have been integrated into the MoF lists of projects for proper monitoring, as part of measures being put in place to improve the implementation of ABFA funded projects.
Six projects will be undertaken in the Northern, Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions whereas the Volta, Upper West and Upper East Regions will have three, four and five projects in total, respectively.
The warehousing project will help government to address the challenge of storage for agriculture produce in the country, as it is expected to add about 80,000 metric tonnes, to the current storage capacity.
Currently the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has an estimated installed warehouse storage capacity of about 35,000 tonnes.
Five projects in three regions are expected to be funded under the ABFA.
- Rehabilitation of Dam Phase II at Guo, Lawra district in Upper West Region
- Development of irrigation infrastructure for agricultural production for export and agro-industry phase II at Mprumem , in Central region
- Construction of irrigation infrastructure for Agricultural production for export and Agro-industry Phase II at Tamne, Upper East region
- Rehabilitation of Piyiri Irrigation project Phase II at Piyiri in Upper West Region
- Construction of irrigation infrastructure for Agricultural production for export and Agro-industry Phase I at Tamne, Upper East region
It is estimated that Ghana’s agricultural land area is about 56.94 percent of total land area, which is 13,600,000 hectares. Of this, 46.63 percent of the land area is under cultivation, representing 6,341,930.
However, only 3.61 percent, 228,792 hectares, of the total area is under irrigation.
Although there is little data on the overall extent of informal irrigation in the country, it was established that around Kumasi alone, there are at least 12,700 smallholders irrigating more than 11,900 hectares in the dry season, which is more than the area currently functioning under formal irrigation in the whole of the country.
(By Joshua W. Amlanu)