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Government to invest GH¢2.8bn in 14 regions under the ESRF project

Source The Ghana Report

Government will invest GH¢2.8 billion in 14 regions under the Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems exposed to COVID-19 (ESRF) project.

This was disclosed by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, while speaking at a sod-cutting ceremony at Kwasi Fante in Afram Plains South District of the Eastern Region, to begin work on some infrastructure projects under the scheme.

“In response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the 2020 Global Pandemic, the Government of Ghana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, conceived the ESRF project. The primary goal was to safeguard the livelihoods, incomes, health, and resilience of our target groups against the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change”.

“I am pleased to announce that the project is being funded by the Government of Ghana through a loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),” he said.

The ESRF Project is implemented in various phases and constructing infrastructure under the initiative is the final phase of the project.

Dr. Acheampong explained the final phase saying “This phase aims to enhance the lives of our smallholder farmers and beneficiary communities by providing essential facilities. The ongoing projects include the construction of farm tracks, water harvesting schemes, drying platforms, and boreholes. These infrastructure projects, totaling approximately Thirty-Five Million Ghana Cedis, will play a crucial role in improving the lives of our smallholder farmers.”

As part of the project, two 100-hectare water harvesting schemes will be constructed for smallholder farmers in Tordzinu, South Tongu District, and Klenormadi, Ketu District, in the Volta Region.

Additionally, 16 commodity drying platforms will be built, and 29.5 kilometers of farm tracks will be constructed in various regions. Furthermore, 20 boreholes will be installed in the North-East Gonja, Nanton, Atebubu, Bono East, Northern, and Savannah regions.

Project Coordinator of the Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems exposed to COVID-19 (ESRF) , Dr. Hayford Baah Adade called on beneficiaries to ensure proper maintenance and utilisation of the project.

“I urge all stakeholders, especially the beneficiaries of these projects, to collaborate with us in ensuring the successful implementation of these initiatives. Together, we can work towards building a more resilient and sustainable food system that benefits all members of our agricultural community,” he said.

The Minister emphasised the importance of contractors adhering to high construction standards, hence the involvement of supervising agencies, such as the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), the Department of Feeder Roads (DFR), and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), to monitor the progress of the projects.

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