The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is borrowing $36 million from the African Development Bank.
According to the Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the loan is intended to finance the Savannah Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP) as well as help smallholder farmers transform into commercial enterprises.
Speaking at the launch of the Ghanaian Farmer Tourism Club, Dr Akoto said more investment is needed to revolutionize the agricultural sector.
“Commercial farming is booming in the savannah belt and we have a project to speed up the process. I went to the African Development Bank to get a $36 million loan for a project called SAPIP where we are turning smallholder farmers into commercial farms. Farmers who used to grow 20 acres of corn are now growing 100 acres and more and more people are lining up to join the club,” he said.
The Savannah Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Project, designed at a total cost of $56.3 million, was launched in May 2018. The project was expected to reach 50,000 direct beneficiaries and 250,000 farmers nationwide through the input subsidy program of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative. The project should be completed this year.
Count on Crops Hub, an agriculture advocacy company, launched the Ghanaian Farmer Tourism Club.
The club seeks to provide Ghanaian farmers with the opportunity to travel to other countries to learn new agronomic practices and vice versa.
Count on Crops Hub Managing Director, Enyonam Manye, said, “Agro-tourism is an untapped market that farmers have yet to discover. So, as a company that is dedicated to agricultural innovations, we thought it was wise to take farmers from Ghana to visit other parts of Africa and even Europe to visit commercial farms, enterprises agricultural transformation and strengthen the export and import of goods. So it’s just an experience, an exposure that we want to give to farmers”.
Count on Crops Hub is partnering with Adansi Travels and RwandAir on this initiative.
Managing Director of Adansi Travels, Gideon Asare described their packages available to farmers.
“We designed some very nice packages starting with a trip to Rwanda. Our first trip will be in November . So we take care of the arrangements and also ensure that the cost is not unbearable for the Ghanaian farmer.
RwandAir Country Director Robert Okumu hailed the initiative and said his team was happy to be associated with a project that aims to improve Africa.
“I wonder why African countries have to import dairy products, poultry from the West, when we have both the natural resources and the human resources. So, as RwandAir, we are happy to support this project and in the spirit of Pan-Africanism, we will work together to develop it,” he said.