The Northern Regional Minister Abdallah Abubakari has indicated that the upgrading and expansion of the Tamale airport will boost the development of agriculture in the region.
According to the Minister, the expansion of the airport will help in the transportation of perishable farm produce from the north to the southern part of the country where there are more ready market for them.
“The expansion works and upgrading of the Tamale Airport will certainly have positive implications for agricultural development because perishable farm produce like vegetables and other crops can be moved quickly from the north to Accra and beyond,” Mr Abubakari stated.
He made the remarks during the first MADE agribusiness forum which was recently held in Tamale.
The Regional Minister also called upon agricultural experts and financiers to consider promoting the cultivation of such vegetables that have established markets in the country. “This I believe will change the mentality of our farmers who do not see agriculture as a business,” he added.
It is said that 60% of the population of the three northern regions are into peasant farming despite huge potentials in agriculture-vast and rich arable lands, good valleys for rice and vegetable cultivation.
Themed “The North is ready for business…Are You?”, the MADE event forms part of a £14.3 million Market Development in the North (MADE) programme which was launched by the British High Commissioner Jon Benjamin.
The event was held to unlock the wealth creation potential of agriculture in northern Ghana which is not fully realized as smallholder farmers do not treat farming as a business due to undeveloped market for farm produce.
Funded by the UK government through the Department for International Development (DFID), the MADE programme aims at ramping up agriculture productivity in Ghana as well as attract much needed private sector investment in the sector. The programme is said to be the UK Government’s leading agriculture development programme in Ghana.
The programme is expected to test models and ideas that would help increase investment in the sector but also to fundamentally change how market interactions between players in the agriculture value chains (producers, farmers, entrepreneurs and service providers) could be improved and transformed.
The project covers 63 selected districts within the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone where the level of poverty is believed to be on the rise.
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