GHANA – Four farming communities in three districts in the Northern Region have benefited from a Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) Power for Sustainable Irrigation project to undertake an all-year-round agriculture to boost their income and ensure food security.
They are Tamaligu in the Karaga District, Nakpanduri in the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District, and Datoyili and Fooshegu in the Tamale Metropolis.
The Solar PV Power for Sustainable Irrigation project, which began in December last year, is being implemented by NewEnergy, a non-governmental organization (NGO) with funding grant of 200,000 dollars from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Energy Commission under the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
Under the initiative, solar panels have been installed in the communities producing 22 kilowatts of off-grid energy, which powers pumping machines to extract water from nearby rivers through well-laid pipes to irrigate the farms totaling 35 acres.
Mr Thomas Sayibu Imoro, Chief Executive Officer of NewEnergy, accompanied by other officials of the NGO, UNDP, and journalists, who toured one of the project sites at Tamaligu on Thursday, said it (project) was to ensure proper and economic use of water in rural areas, whose mainstay was agriculture.
The tour was to share experiences and success of the project in terms of using renewable energy in off-grid communities to undertake irrigation for crop production.
Mr Sayibu Imoro said farmers under the project had formed a cooperative discussing ways of finding a permanent market for their produce, which included vegetables, fruits, maize and rice.
He advised farmers to work hard to expand and sustain the project to improve their income.
Alhaji Amadu Mahama, Board Chairman of NewEnergy said the technology was cost effective and easy to operate and urged government to adopt it to ensure an all-year-round farming across the country.
Mr William Boakye-Acheampong, Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, described the project as laudable as it was in line with government’s programme to encourage agriculture production to benefit farmers.
Mr Iddrisu Abubakari, Chief of Tamaligu Farmers’ Cooperative hailed the project saying it was helping them to improve on their incomes as they worked all-year-round compared to previous seasons when they cropped two times in a year.
November 30, 2015; GNA