An initiative by the European Union (EU) to support Ghana with an amount of 2.12 million Euros to enable the implementation of the Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) Project has attracted government applauds.
The ReDIAL project piloted in five farming municipal/districts in the country, would last for a period of four years and its aim is to foster innovation in improving soil fertility by generating scientific knowledge through technology to improve threshing of grains and cereals.
The Yendi Municipal of the Northern region, Techiman municipality of the Bono East Region, Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipal of the Ashanti region, Kwahu Affram Plains North District of the Eastern Region and the Sefwi Wiawso District of the Western North Region are the pilot areas.
The project would be implemented by a consortium of three partners, the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Friends of the Nation and Tropenbos Ghana, non-governmental organisations.
The project is also geared towards contributing to the transformation and innovation in agriculture and food systems in Ghana through action research, application of innovative technologies and organization of farmers and multi-stakeholder platforms.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture in a speech read on his behalf at the of the ReDIAL project in Accra, said the programme would help to modernize and accelerate the growth of agriculture for smallholder farmers on a sustainable basis.
According to hi, the project will also help identify and promote technologies for scaling up to other farming communities and contribute significantly to agricultural transformation.
He said his Ministry was committed to working with all partners and pledged government’s unflinching support to ensure the success of the project.
The Minister said since 2017, under the 11th EU Development Fund, the union had provided over 130 million Euros grant resources for the implementation of an integrated programme in the Upper West Region called the EU-Ghana Agriculture Programme.
The project, he said sought to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and other project beneficiaries through the promotion of selected food crops, provision of water infrastructure, development of roads and interventions to address climate change.
“All these programmes seek to increase productivity and production of key commodity value chains, provide the raw material for industry, increase foreign exchange earnings, create jobs and improve incomes of all actors in the agriculture value chain,” he said.
About EU Green Deal
Madam Diana Acconcia, the Ambassador of EU, in a speech read on her behalf stated that the ReDIAL project was in line with the EU Green Deal, a new growth strategy promoting economic sustainability by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities.
For his part, the Dean of the Department of Silviculture and Forest Management of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, KNUST, Prof Boateng Kyere said the project would work with service providers and financial institutions and create linkages with farmers for sustainable funding.
Mr Don Kris Mevuta, the Executive Director, Friends of the Nation one of three partners said the project would provide targeted support to women and youth engaged in farming and support them with access to innovative technologies to increase their productivity.