Gambibgo Farmers Assisted With Solar-Powered Irrigation System for Dry Season Farming

| Updated Nov 26, 2017 at 8:02am



Photos Isaac Asare/GBC
Access to year-round water for irrigation is said to be one of the surest ways that can significantly enhance the productivity of agriculture as well as food security.

However, farmers in the Upper East Region are faced with numerous challenges ranging from poor soil fertility to erratic rainfall patterns that in a long term affects crop production.

In view of this, the Accra Breweries Limited, ABL, through one of its sustainable development brands, Eagle lager, had completed and handed over a solar-powered furrow irrigation system to the Gambibgo community in Bolgatanga to enable them undertake dry season farming.

This forms part of the company’s commitment to improving the income levels of small holder farmers in the country.

Ghana’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture with majority engaged in subsistence farming. In spite of the huge economic viability, most rural dwellers still wallow in abject poverty as their only source of livelihoods is bedevilled with myriad of challenges.

The situation which had worsened the vulnerability of farmers in rural communities particularly women is largely blamed on erratic rainfall pattern experienced in parts of the country.

However, the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions bear the brunt of the longest dry season which often last between seven to eight months in a year as compared to the sufficient rainy seasons in the Southern and coastal belts.

During this period, small holder farmers are left with no option than to migrate to other parts of the country to engage in menial jobs.

In an effort to mitigate the negative impact of this perennial condition, Accra Breweries Limited, ABL, through one of its sustainable development brands, Eagle lager, had embarked on a project to assist farmers in under-served communities with mechanised solar-powered irrigation systems to support their farming activities.

The Eagle Farmer Project is initiated by ABL to offer small holder farmers an alternative to rain fed agriculture that will enable them practice all year round farming.

In the Upper East Region, a number of such facilities have been completed and handed over to beneficiary communities such as Nabio, Yikene and Tindongo.

The recent to benefit from this intervention is Gambibgo, a farming community in the Bolgatanga East Constituency.

The gesture estimated at the cost of 80,000 Ghana cedi is expected to serve over 2,000 inhabitants and contribute to ensuring food security especially the long dry season.

At an inaugural ceremony held at Gambibgo, the Brand Manager of ABL’s locally sourced cassava beer, Eagle Lager, John Baptist Akado noted that the gesture was to demonstrate his brand’s commitment to ensuring that farmers get good returns for what they produce.

Speaker after speaker also emphasized the need for the people to ensure the regular maintenance of the facility while ensuring its safety.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari, who hail from the community said the provision of the facility will help address the menace of rural-urban migration and urged the community to make productive use of the intervention to supplement their income levels.

He said the intervention goes to actualize the concept of Public-Private Partnership and appealed to other corporate bodies to emulate same.

The Regional Minister accompanied by the other dignitaries later took turns to officially inaugurate the Solar-Powered Furrow Irrigation system.

He was assisted by Mr. Akoda and his Eagle lager team as well as the Chief of Gambibgo, Naba Sadik Anon-Egra.

So far, beneficiary communities in parts of the Volta and Western Regions have had their fair share of the project.

The Eagle Lager Project has plans in place to assist rural communities with other social interventions.

Meanwhile, a 5-member committee to oversee to the safety and regular maintenance of the project was sworn into office.

It was administered by the MCE for Bolgatanga, Joseph Amiyuure.

Story by Radio Ghana's Isaac Asare .