The Government of Ghana, the Agence Frangalse de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU) have signed the Agriculture Water Managerment Project (€44,7 milion) to build and rehabilitate a total of 35 irrigations schemes in north-western Ghana.

The project, to be implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), aims at stimulating green and inclusive growth, reducing inequalities and improving Ghana’s food security.

Jutta URPILAINEN, European Commissioner for Internal Partnerships, recalled the EU commitment to support agriculture in Ghana, an essential sector for the country’s economic development.

“The project we are signing today will support smallholder farmers to make their yields more predictable and increase their income. It is an ambitious and important investment, which will boost the socio-economic development of regions in northern Ghana, essential for the development and stabilly of the country”.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, stated that the grant will go a long way to ensure food stability and sustainable development in the Northern belt of Ghana.

“This ambitious project is by all standards is a needed push for government’s flagship planting for food and jobs as well as the irrigation project. We will see sustainable food production from this initiative,” he stated.

Held at the Ministry of Finance, the ceremony saw the exchange of signatures between the Minister of Finance, Ken OFORI-ATTA, and the AFD Country Director, Christophe COTTET.

The agreement was co-signed by the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta URPILAINEN, and the French Ambassador to Ghana, Anne-Sophie Ave. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, were also present.

Through the Agriculture Water Management Project (AWMP), the signatories have agreed to join forces to support irrigation in northern Ghana, where 85% of the population makes a living from agriculture.

The construction of irrigation systems is essential to increase yields in the targeted regions of Upper West, Savannah and North East Regions. It will provide an additional and reliable source of income for more than 6000 smallholder farmers, who currently rely on unpredictable rain-led agriculture and are increasingly exposed to extreme climatic events such as droughts and floods.

The European Union (€20.7 million) and French (€5 million) grants will be managed by AFD with the MOFA and GIDA as implementing partners.

 It will initiate the rehabilitation and construction of 15 dams, 11 borehole and pumping stations on the Black Volta River.