a. Block Farming Programme
The region participates in the Block Farming component of the Youth in Agriculture programme, which is aimed at supporting youthful farmers with credit to cultivate various commodities. It, thus, contributes to food security, employment creation and income generation
In 2010, the region cultivated 4,133.9 ha of maize grain and seed, rice grain and seed, soya grain and seed and sorghum grain and seed out of a target of 5,582 ha, thus achieving 73.9%.
A total of 6,650 farmers participated in the programme, consisting of 1,763 females and 4,887 males.
Total credit provided under the programme amounted to GH₵1,116.266.30, out of which GH₵464,302.59 (41.59%) was recovered as at the end of March, 2011. Recoveries are, however, on-going. The table below provides more details of the programme
|Commodity||Target (Ha)||Achieved Ploughing (Ha)||% Ploughing Achieved||Credit Provided
|Amount Recovered (Gh₵)||% Recovered|
b. VSO-WEV Programme
An important strategy of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in interacting with farmers is the formation and development of Farmer-Based Organisations (FBOs). This arrangement allows for reaching out to larger numbers of farmers by the Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs). This is quite important, especially in view of the inadequacy of AEAs in the field.
The collaboration of the Ministry with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in their Women Extension Volunteer (WEV) programme has been found to be very useful in augmenting the extension staff strength in the region. Under this programme, women volunteers are identified and trained to provide extension services to women farmers, most of whom may not have benefitted from public extension due to the afore-mentioned staff inadequacy, as well as some cultural barriers.
Women extension Volunteers in the Region
|District||No of Volunteers in Pilot Phase||No of Volunteers in Expanded Phase|
Total number of Women Extension Volunteers in region – 60
Number of FBOs reached by Women Extension Volunteers in 2010
|District||No of FBOs||Female||Male||Total|
c. Northern Rural Growth Programme
The Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). It covers four (4) regions in the country. These are the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and some parts of the Brong-Ahafo Regions.
The overall goal is to achieve sustainable agricultural and rural livelihood and food security for the rural poor, particularly those dependent on marginal lands, rural women and vulnerable groups in Northern Ghana. The specific objective is to develop inclusive remunerative agricultural and food chains to generate agricultural surplus production and orient it towards remunerative markets in Southern Ghana and abroad.
Main Activities of NRGP in Upper West Region
The NRGP was launched in the Upper West region in 2009. Technical implementation started the same year with the piloting of 3-districts for dry season seed maize production under irrigation. These districts were Wa West, Nadowli and Jirapa districts. The districts were chosen due to their access to the Black Volta. However, the programme has up-scaled to all districts in the region since 2010.
The main activities are outline below
- Establishment and animation of producer organizations (POs).
- Dry season maize and vegetable production
- Facilitation of vertical and horizontal linkages among POs and service providers (i.e. input dealers, financial institutions, marketers, tractor operators, technical experts, etc)
- Facilitation of value chain activities
- Conduct of field visits and trainings
- Establishment and facilitation of Inter Professional Bodies (IPBs) in collaboration with ACDEP.
- Construction of feeder roads and farm tracks
d. World Food Programme – Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System
This is a World Food Programme (WFP)/MOFA/Ministry of Health collaboration, started initially as Food Security and Monitoring System. The nutritional dimension was introduced later.
This programme serves as an early warning system for food insecurity/ vulnerability in the region. It, thus, provides timely and relevant information on food and nutrition for decision making.
Under this programme, the WFP provides Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) for use in data collection, while MOFA staff (AEAs) do the field data gathering. Data is collected on food prices, rainfall and nutrition, among others. This data is transmitted to the WFP for analysis and subsequent issuance of Monthly Food Security Bulletins for Northern Ghana.
From the initial 24 sentinel sites (3 communities in each of the then 8 districts) in the region, the programme has scaled up to 45 sentinel sites (5 communities in each of the present 9 districts).
The programme has achieved successes in tracking food market trends. The rainfall situation and household nutritional status are also being monitored.
e. Fertilizer Subsidy Programme
a. Implementation of the fertilizer subsidy programme through distributors
The fertilizer subsidy programme was implemented in the Upper West Region, as in all regions in the country. In 2010, six (6) fertilizer distributors participated in the supply of fertilizers to the region. They are Antika Enterprise Limited, 18th April Agro Chemicals, Iddisal Company Limited, Enepa Agro, Kaakyire and Sefa & Jane. All together, the six (6) companies supplied the region 46, 264 bags of four (4) fertilizer types: NPK, Sulphate of Ammonia, Urea and Sulfan, involving a total subsidy of GH₵761,148.00, which was borne by the Government of Ghana
|Fertilizer type||Quantity (bags)||Subsidy/bag (GH₵)||Selling price/bag (GH₵)||Total subsidy (GH₵)|
|Sulphate of Ammonia||20,681||16.00||18.00||330,896.00|
b. Implementation of the fertilizer subsidy programme through the Block Farming Programme
Fertilizers supplied to farmers under the Block Farming Programme were also covered by the subsidy programme. Under the programme, 16,730 bags of NPK fertilizer and 9,755 bags of Sullphate of Ammonia were provided, involving a subsidy of GH₵440,490.00
|Fertilizer type||Quantity (bags)||Subsidy/bag (GH₵)||Selling price/bag (GH₵)||Total subsidy (GH₵)|
|Sulphate of Ammonia||9,755||16.00||18.00||156,080.00|
Total Subsidy – GH₵1,201,638.00
2.0 SPECIAL PROJECTS
a. Rice Sector Support Project (RSSP)
The Rice Sector Support Project (RSSP) is operational in the Upper West Region in four (4) districts: Wa Municipal, Wa East, Wa West and Sissala East. It is a 5-year project funded by the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) which commenced in 2009.
The purpose of RSSP is to increase rice productivity (and production) and household incomes in Northern Ghana through the adoption of appropriate technologies by low-income and/or resource poor farm households, rice processors and marketers in project target areas of Northern Ghana and the Volta Region.
A total of 73 valleys (2,016 ha) were pre-identified as potential areas for rice cultivation. Out of these, 33 valleys (1,754 ha) have been prioritized for detailed studies to be conducted by the University for Development Studies (UDS) prior to land development.
The UDS has completed studies in 10 of the 33 prioritized valleys. These 10 valleys are earmarked for the first phase of land development in 2011. Information on the 10 prioritized valleys is provided below:
|Name of Valley||Area (ha)||Community||District|
|Talala Bou/ Koliyogu Bou||80||Sing||Wa Municipality|
|Chogsia Bou||40||Chogsie||Wa West|
|Gurugu Bou||40||Gurugu||Wa West|
|Dabienida||22||Yaala #1||Wa East|
|Kambiehi||22||Yaala #2||Wa East|
|Dakunye Bou||46||Tanina||Wa East|
|Kpanyeluu Bou||30||Polee||Wa East|
b. Livestock Development Project
The Livestock Development Project (LDP), funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), aims at reducing poverty, improving food security and reducing imports of livestock and livestock products. It commenced in 2003 and ended in 2010. However, some of the activities implemented under the project have been mainstreamed into the Ministry’s regular programme for the achievement of the impacts envisaged for the project.
In the Upper West Region, the project operated in six (6) districts: Wa Municipality, Wa East, Wa West, Jirapa (including Lambussie-Karni), Sissala East and Sissala West.
Under breed improvement, 751 farmers were trained on the conservation and utilization of crop residue for dry season livestock feeding. Another 120 farmers were selected for the open nucleus breeding scheme, which did not materialize.
On stock water provision, six (6) dugouts and three boreholes were provided in nine (9) communities under the project, and 116 community members trained for the maintenance, sanitation and management of the water facilities. Information on the water facilities provided is provided in the table below.
|Wa East||Dugout||Tissa||Problem with spill-way|
|Borehole||Baayiri||Completed and in use|
|Wa West||Dugout||Wechiau||Started but far from complete|
|Jirapa||Borehole||Tampaala||Completed and in use|
|Dugout||Ping||Very poor compaction of dam wall but contractor has moved out of site.|
|Lambussie||Dugout||Samoa||Complete, but seepage of water along a portion of dam wall; massive community contribution|
|Sissala East||Dugout||Sakalu||Not complete; spillway not properly constructed; no stone lining for dam wall|
|Dugout||Pina||Dam wall not well constructed; no spillway|
|Sissala West||Borehole||Liplime||Completed and in use|
180 fodder banks were established by farmers in beneficiary districts during the project period.
Under the Credit–in-Kind Scheme, 880 goats and 6,320 sheep were supplied to 720 farmers in the beneficiary districts as indicated in the table below.
Distribution of goats by district
|District||Number of goats received|
Distribution of sheep by district
|District||Number of sheep received|
150 milk collectors and processors were trained in hygienic milk collection and processing.
On capacity building, about 360 farmers per district, on the average, were trained on various topics. Training areas included livestock husbandry practices, animal health care, African Swine Fever, conservation and utilization of crop residue, maintenance, sanitation and management of water facilities, farming as a business, handling, application and usage of the I-2 vaccine, and fattening of livestock using agro-industrial by-products.
c. Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa – Soil Health Project (AGRA SHP)
AGRA SHP, funded by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), was launched in April, 2010.It is being implemented in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions. In the Upper West region, it is operational in all 9 districts.
The goal of the project is to increase the adoption of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) options for increased maize production and to reduce poverty and improve food security, incomes and livelihoods of small-scale resource poor farmers in Northern Ghana.
Activities implemented in 2010:
- Selection, registration and sensitization of FBOs: 29 Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) in 16 communities in all 9 districts participated in project activities.
- Farmer groups were provided with timely and affordable access to seed and fertilizers to conduct a 0.4 ha demonstration each
- Once access to these inputs was guaranteed, targeted farmer groups were then trained in modern maize crop technologies through field training.
|Technology||Number of FBOs|
|Soil fertility in maize with mineral fertilizer and rotation with legume||7|
|Soil fertility in maize with organic and inorganic fertilizer||6|
|Evaluation of drought-tolerant maize varieties under fertilized conditions||7|
|Evaluation of hybrid and open pollinated varieties under fertilized conditions||7|
3.0 NEW INITIATIVES
a. Promoting Pearl Millet and Sorghum Production (PROMISO 2) Project
This initiative, which is still at its preparatory stages, is a Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI)/International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)/MOFA collaboration. It is a 10-month project aimed at promoting/enhancing the production of pearl millet and sorghum in Northern Ghana. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of the resource-poor households, especially women, to attain higher and stable yields from these crops.
Beneficiary districts in the Upper West Region are Lawra, Wa East and Sissala East.
To kick start the initiative, a regional planning meeting, involving various stakeholders, was held to draw up a work plan for project implementation. The participants included:
- District Directors of Agriculture
- Regional Agricultural Officers
- District Agricultural Officers
- Farmers’ representatives
- NGO representative
- Agro-input dealers’ representative
Action Plan for Implementation of PROMISO 2
|Sissala East||Banor||Sorghum/millet||Food fortification|
|Wa East||Tanina||Sorghum/millet||Food fortification|
|Linkages – Antika Enterprise||Bugubelle||Sorghum||Soil fertility|
|Wa||Sorghum||Utilization-Incorporating sorghum in bread|
b. Crop Intensification for Increased Agricultural Production in the Sahelian Environment of Northern Ghana
This initiative, which commenced in 2010, is a MOFA/FAO collaboration being implemented in the Upper East and Upper West regions. It is aimed at integrating the Mucuna crop into the farming systems in the target regions to:
- use Mucuna as a cover crop to control weeds, especially Striga and Spear grass
- use Mucuna as a cover crop to enhance soil fertility and moisture conservation
- use Mucuna as a fodder crop/supplementary feed for small ruminants during the dry season
- use processed Mucuna seed as feed for fattening of small ruminants
Twenty-five (25) AEAs and 12 farmers have been trained and 500 kilogrammes of Mucuna deeringiana supplied MOFA in the region for distribution to farmers in the six (6) participating districts: Lawra, Jirapa, Lambussie-Karni, Nadowli, Sissala East and Sissala West.
c. Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) Project
This initiative, started in 2010, is a MOFA/World Vision-Ghana/Purdue University collaboration aimed at introducing a non-chemical cowpea storage method using the triple hermetic bagging system. It is operational in seven (7) districts in the region.
A total of 30 Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) were trained to deliver the technology. Seven (7) community volunteers were also trained to assist in the dissemination of the technology.
A total of 487 communities have been sensitized by the trained AEAs and volunteers.
Demonstrations on the use of the new technology were conducted in all the identified communities in collaboration with five (5) farmers per community. Farmers’ own cowpea and bambara beans were used for the demonstrations. 2,480 of the bags were distributed for the conduct of the demonstrations in the selected communities.
Two (2) vendors have already been supplied with the improved bags for sale to farmers.
Summary of communities selected, AEAs and volunteers trained
|District||No. of AEAs trained||No. of volunteers trained||No. of communities selected|
4.0 AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION
In its effort to modernize agriculture, the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has provided agricultural machinery to farmers, farmer-based organizations and other entities to provide mechanization services to farmers and other operators in the agriculture sector.
Some of the tractors provided have been used to establish Agricultural Mechanization Service Centres (AMSECs) to serve as plant pools to service farmers. Some of the tractors have been sold to individual farmers. All of these tractors were sold out on hire-purchase at subsidized prices and at no interest.
AMSECs Established in the region
|Operating Entity||District||Machinery (Tractors) provided|
|Wa Municipal Assembly||Wa Municipality||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Wa East District Assembly||Wa East District||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Wa West District Assembly||Wa West District||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Nadowli District Assembly||Nadowli District||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Jirapa District Assembly||Jirapa District||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Lambussie- Karni District Assembly||Lambussie- Karni District||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Sissala East District Assembly||Sissala East District||3 Farmtrac|
|Sissala West District Assembly||Sissala West District||1 Farmtrac, 4 John Deere|
|Nyuvori Tona Co. Ltd.||Wa Municipality||5 Farmtrac, 3 Yukon|
Tractors sold to individual farmers
|Tractor Type||Number Sold|
|Farmtrac (60, 70, 80)||40|
|John Deere (5303, 5430)||26|