- awards US$32m contract for Kpone Left Bank Irrigation project
The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP), has earmarked approximately US$100 million for the rehabilitation and modernization of four public irrigation infrastructures nationwide for increased access to water for farming.
GCAP, in February this year, awarded a US$32 million contract for commencement of work on the Kpone Left Bank Irrigation Project (KLBIP), which is expected to be completed in 18 months.
“The contract for the other three projects: Kpong Irrigation Scheme (KIS), the Tono and Vea Irrigation Dams in the Upper East Region, will soon be awarded once we are able to get qualified bidders”, GCAP’s Project Coordinator, Mr. Charles Nornoo told the Goldstreet Business at the second quarter Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s (GIPC) CEO’s breakfast meeting on ‘Innovative Financing for Commercial Agriculture’.
The event, was organized to discuss the opportunities and prospects in the country’s agriculture sector and initiatives being implemented to make agriculture attractive.
The KLBIP, when completed, is expected to provide irrigation of about 3,500 hectares of land in the Kpong and Torgorme farming communities at affordable price.
“We anticipate the project to have many people employed in the agriculture sector with at least 2000 hectares going to nucleus farmers with the rest 1500 being utilized by smallholder farmers”, Mr. Nornoo said.
Private sector players, Nornoo explained, will be introduced to the management of the rehabilitated irrigation schemes and support given to the participating farmers in the management of the irrigation and drainage assets.
GIPC’s CEO, Mr. Yoofi Grant, underscored the need to have the whole agricultural value chain operate effectively to enable the sector to create more opportunities for investment.
“Agriculture still seems to be lagging behind and we are not able to determine outputs in a very structured way. It is because we’ve been slow in venturing into mechanized large-scale farming and growing the entire value chain, it is one of the gaps that GCAP is working on”, he said.
Being in operation since April 2013, GCAP aims to move farming from the present subsistence level to a commercial level to ensure wealth creation and food security in the country.
The project was established under the auspices of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, MoFA, with a total investment of US$145 million. Out of the amount, US$100 million is a credit from the World Bank – International Development Association (IDA), with the remaining US$ 45 million being a grant from the United States Agency for International Development, USAID.
GCAP’s objective is to improve agricultural productivity of both smallholder and nucleus farms in selected project intervention areas with increased access to reliable water, land, finance, agricultural inputs and output markets.
So far, the project has provided support to 36 businesses in the agriculture value chain and over 9000 out-growers.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe