The Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP)

Introduction/Project Basic data

The Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project designed with a total cost of US$56.32 Million was launched in May 2018 to support the effort of the Ghana Government within the context of Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSODA-II 2014-2017). The Project interventions support the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Campaign by stimulating the innovative process of production through skills and technological upgrading to lift farmers from low productive agriculture to higher productive activities and thereby creating jobs, alleviating poverty, increasing incomes and improving social inequalities. The project has a life span of 5 years (2018-2022) By the end of its five-year lifespan, the Project will be reaching out to 50,000 direct beneficiaries and 250,000 farmers nationwide through the input subsidy program of the PFJ, with 50% being women and youth.


Project Objectives

The overall development objective of the Project is to transform agricultural value chains for food and nutrition security, job and wealth creation within the Savannah Zone, The specific objectives are:

  1. to increase farmers’ food and nutrition security
  2. increase incomes through increased agricultural productivity and diversification
  • enhance the creation and strengthening of agribusinesses to increase incomes of actors along selected value chains on a sustainable basis.


Project Components

Component 1: Crop Productivity Improvement: This seeks to increase the productivity of farmers through the use of seeds of improved and nutritious crop varieties. The project assists rice, maize, soybean and vegetable farmers to adopt productivity improvement technologies such as soil fertility interventions, mechanization and improved extension service. Nutrition promotion activities are being implemented in order to promote dietary diversity and in particular to increase consumption of vegetables in the project area. Infrastructure of the aged national seed processing centres are to be rehabilitated, equipped with modern machinery and supported to ensure national self-sufficiency in breeder, foundation and certified seeds for strategic commodities. Essential expected outcomes under this component are the dissemination of technologies selected by the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) for the target commodities. These technologies will be complemented by other proven technologies within the TASI framework. Demonstration of high gross margin maize and soybean production technology and conservation agriculture is also being carried out at four selected locations. Private and public sector extension agents, commercial farmers and young farmers will be trained in the new maize and soybean production technologies.

Component 2 - Value Chain and Agribusiness Development: The objective of this component is to set up sustainable agribusinesses along the commodity value chains by entrepreneurship training to value chain actors. It will further strengthen the local governance structures such as the District Value Chain Committees (DVCCs), which is an innovative concept that links farmers to value chain’s actors to more ably participate in the ownership and management of facilities that will be set up. It will orchestrate linkages to other flagship programmes of the Bank particularly the on-going ENABLE Youth Program in the Rural Enterprises Program and the up-coming Risk Sharing Facility (RSF) through Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) and facilitation of the establishment of an Innovation Platform.  This component will ultimately contribute to the achievement of the Government flagship program of 1D1F as it will promote private sector investments in the Project operational area. The soft infrastructure will leverage on on-going e-agriculture activities in the sector to consolidate the various registration of farmers into an agriculture sector database for input supply system.

Component 3 - Development: The infrastructure development component provides for both hard and soft infrastructure. The hard infrastructure will include: (i) Development of Transport Infrastructure (feeder roads, farm-tracks and stock routes); (ii) Rehabilitation of irrigation schemes; (iii); and (iv) Rehabilitation of warehouses. Improvement of water harvesting and distribution for lowland rice production.

Component 4 - Project Coordination, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation: The Project Management and Co-ordination is responsible for the day to day management of the project. It is also responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), gender equality and women’s empowerment and implementation of the Project Environmental and Social Management Plan. Achievements of SAPIP are presented by components.

Status of Implementation

So far the Project has supported the CSIR-SARI to establish Breeder and Foundation Seed fields. These are expected to result in the production of 2.150kg of Breeder Seeds of Rice (650kg), Maize (800kg) and Soybean (70kg) and 6,000kg of Foundation Seeds of Rice (2 0kg). Maize (2.000kg) and Soybean (2.250kg). The CSIR-SRI, CSIR-SARI, and CSIR-CRI advanced the development of seven technical manuals for the training, demonstration and the production of the SAPIP mandate crops - Maize, Rice. Soybean Vegetables (chilli pepper, tomato, garden egg, onion) targeted at Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs), Nucleus Farmers and Agri-Input Dealers. The soil samples tested by the CSIR-SRI to determine the present soil fertility status initial at the start of the Conservation Agriculture (CA) under the TESTS showed high bulk density from 10 fields averaging 16 (1-20 cm depth) and 18 (20-50 cm depth). This is an indication that root penetration could be hampered but with continuous practice of CA these values can reduce.

Four District Departments ha. The four districts trained a total number of 16,302 farmers (30% being women) in Good Agricultural Practices, Conservation Agriculture, Pest Control, etc. Two districts (Kumbungu and W. Mamprusi) carried out field days that brought a total of 509 individuals together to learn the technologies and practices demonstrated. The seven DDAs in the SAPIP Operational Districts have so far registered 338 groups with total membership of 8,318 beneficianes (60% being female) and cultivating maize, rice, soybean and vegetables on 24,774 ha of land. Over 2,000 women and their families and over 100 schools in 12 districts benefited from an initiative to promote vegetable production and consumption which is expected to result in the the following outcomes: (i) improved nutrition, (ii) empowered women and (iii) enhanced vegetable gardening culture.

In support to the PFJ, SAPIP facilitated the procurement and distribution of 1,134 MT of nee, soybean, maize and vegetable seeds, 30,000 MT of NPK blended with micro-nutrients and 15.000 MT of Urea. To ensure effective coordination of input distribution and use, SAPIP signed MoU with the Crops Services Directorate of MOFA which helped to sensitize the public on the distribution modalities in 11 regions, 24 Districts using 39 Radio Stations. Beneficiaries of the lopata 97 Districts in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions were registered with the assistance of 968 NABOO Officers at 1.067 input outlets. The direct support by the SIP POMU in the development of a jingle to promote the PFJ 2019 Campaign played in English and 13 local languages in the entire NSEZ resulted in the smooth distribution and use of the agri-inputs. Under the TAAT S Expanded Pilot in 2019, 1341 ha was cultivated to maize and soybean by 12 Commercial Farmers which is expected to boost crop production by at least 5.000 MT Two high performing hyond maize SC 719 and Pioneer 30Y87 (totaling 1 Duha) with yicld potentials of 10-12 MT and 8-10 MT respectively were planted along with three (3) soybean varieties Jenguma, Afuyak and Favour totaling 330 ha with yield potentials ranging from 25 MT to 3 MT Highly productive fertilizers applied were NPK 15-15-15 (blended with 2%MgO + 3%S + 03%Zn) and Urea at recommended rates.

To improve the quality of land preparation and other services rendered by tractor operators and mechanics, a two-day theoretical and practical oriented training was organized to strengthen the capacity of Mechanization Service Providers in the 7 SAPIP Operational Districts and the Host farmers under the TAATS. In all the capacities of 175 actors (comprising tractor operas, mechanics, tractor owners and elected farmers) were strengthened.

Ten Market Off-Takers and Aggregators were identified, profiled and linked to both the smallholder farmers and the commercial farmers under the TAAT-S initiative to enhance market access. The project in partnership with the Ghana Grain Council, trained 400 individuals comprising 141 Agricultural Extension Agents and 259 small and commercial farmers in Grain Quality standards and Food safety. The Project also engaged seven (7) commercial and four (4) rural banks to support Value Chain financing within the project through MoU project through the Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD) Directorate of MOFA, organized a Training of Trainers program on Nutrition Education for all the AEAs in the project operational districts.

Following an initial assessment of the seed centers located in Ho, Winneba, Kumasi and Tamale, detailed proposals were evaluated towards the recruitment of a firm for engineering re-design and supervise the construction of the seed centers The Project is also in the process of recruiting a consultant to undertake a diagnostic study on the management of the seed centers. Technical bids have been evaluated and will be submitted to the Bank for No Objection to proceed with the procurement process. The major challenge however anticipated is that in equate funds allocated for the rehabilitation works will be inadequate considering the extent of deterioration.

About 100 km of feeder roads were validated for rehabilitation to improve access to input supply and evacuation of harvested produce. Draft designs and bills have been submitted by the Department of Feeder Roads. The DFR has therefore been requested to scale down the scope of the work. With regards to the irrigation Schemes earmarked for rehabilitation at Golinga (40 ha) and Bontanga (850 ha) Projects, Water User Associations (WUA) h been established and Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), has been engaged to provide engineering designs and supervision of construction.

The Project worked with the National Food Buffer Stock Company Ltd. (NAFCO) for the identification and selection of 11 warehouses for rehabilitation. Currently, the Project is in the process of recruiting a consultant for the design and construction supervision of the warehouses. The technical Evaluation Report has been prepared but yet to be also awarded for rehabilitation.



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