The United States Agency for International Development, through Feed the Future Ghana – Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project, is funding the rehabilitation of a 480-meter dam at Wambong in the Central Gonja district of the Northern Region.
The rehabilitation works and the development of a downstream 10- hectare irrigation facility, would enable the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) to produce breeder seed in the off-season and dramatically accelerate the release of new, improved varieties of maize, rice and soy seeds.
It would also improve the quality of the breeder seed produced, which is supplied to seed companies and seed producers for scaling and certification and for sale to farmers.
At a ceremony held at Wambong on Thursday, Wambong-Lanaa- Alhassan Dawuni Abdullah, (Chief of Wambong) handed over the project site to the contractors who would be improving the dam works, and installing the new irrigation system.
Wambong-Lanaa- Dawuni thanked America for providing funds for the project and said the facility would help the community members, especially farmers, with access to water for crop irrigation.
Mr Michael Sallah, Senior Administration Officer of the ATT Project, explained that the facility would enable SARI to undertake two seed and new variety trials production cycles per year thereby helping to increase availability of seeds and speed up their release to the public.
He said two construction firms, namely Ashcal Investments Limited and Maski Enterprise, have been awarded contracts to work on the project, which is expected to be completed in the next three months.
Maski Enterprise would mainly do the dredging and other improvements on the dam, while Ashcal Investments Limited has been tasked to develop the irrigation scheme.
Mr Baba Inusah, Irrigation Advisor of SARI, urged the people in the community to support the contractors to complete the project in the stipulated time to ensure that the facility harvests enough rain this year for maximum use in the dry season.
Mr Vincent Gbidzi, the Supervising Consultant hired by the ATT project, led the contractors around the dam and proposed irrigation sites and advised them to work assiduously and do quality work.