Agricultural Journalists Backs 'One Village, One Dam' Policy

The Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA) has described the 'one village, one dam' policy mooted by the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a laudable move that would help improve agriculture in the country.

The Association said it was shameful that about 40 years after the establishment of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority with the mandate to help construct irrigational facilities for farmers, more than 90 per cent of farms in 21st Century Ghana remained solely dependent on rain fed agriculture.

The Association, however, called on government to take a critical look at the policy proposal and make it clear what the "end game would be before rolling it out".

"This is because we have seen the collapse of irrigation schemes like the Aveyime Irrigation Project again after it was revived recently due to high costs of electricity to move water from the dam to the farms," it cautioned.

GARDJA stated this in a letter to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, which was jointly signed by Richmond Frimpong, President; Joseph Opoku Gakpo, Policy Director and Ernest Kofi Adu, Secretary General of the Association.

The Association said questions about where the source of water to fill the dams will come from still remain unanswered, and that was casting doubt on the feasibility of the initiative hence the need for government to take a second look at it, before the implementation of the programme.

The Association also noted with excitement, the portion of the new government's campaign manifesto which talked about increasing subsidies on fertilizers, seeds and agro chemicals; implementing block farming, setting up schemes to attract youth into farming, and increasing the number of agriculture extension agents among others.

GARDJA also expected the Nana Akufo- Addo's administration to do as a matter of priority, draw and implement a clear cut policy that would fix the broken link between production on the farms, and the available market for consumption of such food.

"Our team of agriculture experts will be available to lend our expertise in the drafting and implementation of such a policy if your government needs a helping hand," it proposed.