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$66 Million Earmarked For WAAPP 2   
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The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, the government of Ghana and other beneficiaries have earmarked $66 million to fund the second phase of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP 2A) to increase agricultural productivity in the sub-region.

The money will be used to expand the programme, implement technologies and grow the varieties of crops that were developed during the first phase.

The WAAPP is a West Africa regional project intended to generate, disseminate and adopt improved technologies and research to increase agricultural production.

The first phase of the project involved Ghana, which embarked on the development of roots and tubers and Mali, where rice was the focus, while Senegal experimented with drought-tolerant cereals.

At the launch of the WAAPP 2A in Accra Wednesday, the National WAAPP Co-ordinator, Ghana, Mrs Azara Ali Mamshie, said the second phase would ensure large-scale technology and innovative dissemination and adoption of systems and mechanisms for the selected priority value chains established.

She said the end of WAAPP 2A would see to an increase in improved seeds and livestock and genetic materials of selected priority commodities, while an effective programme of coordination and management system would be established.

“Key national mechanisms, regulations and institutions for regional cooperation will be strengthened,” she said. The programme is in tandem with the government’s policy of accelerated agricultural modernisation through the use of science and technology.

“Indeed, WAAPP’s intervention fits into the better Ghana agenda for accelerated agricultural modernisation and we expect that its results will contribute to the realisation of the vision of the President,” the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Clement Kofi Humado, said.

But he cautioned that the generation of new technologies and release of new crop varieties would not by themselves result in increased agricultural yields unless a complementary enabling environment facilitated the uptake of the technologies by the farmers.

“It is in this regard that I urge all stakeholders, particularly the microfinance service institutions and related capacity-building institutions, to facilitate an enabling environment to assist our farmers to uptake these technologies,” he said.

The WAAPP is a 10-year adaptable programme being implemented in two phases of five-year duration by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), with financial support from the World Bank.

Currently, there are 13 West African countries on board the programme, for which reason more commodities, including guinea fowl, tomatoes, pepper, onions, rice, maize, sorghum and millet, have been added to the priority commodities.
Source: Daily Graphic

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