AfDB to Kick Start Demo Farms in 2018
Africa’s premier bank,the African Development Bank(AfDB) is to kick start four scientific knowledge and technology driven modern commercial scale demonstration farms in June 2018 under its Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative(TASI) Ghana Pilot Project within the context of its “Feed Africa Straregy”.
The domomstration farms which would be based on the bank’s value chain approach entails planting, through processing to marketing, are to be located at Bupe, Babato and Yagaba in the Northern region and Afram Plains in the Eastern region.
The demonstration would be in three Stages.The first stage would involve the use of new technologies,stage 2,commercial production and three, agro-processing.
Under the Pilot Phase which is to last for at least three years, 50 hectares of maize and soya beans would intially be cultivated on each farm totalling 200 hectares to start with.
By 2019,the bank plans to expand production from 50 hectares to 50,000 hectares each per farm thus totalling 100,000 hectares .
Under the project the bank would demonstrate the use of alternative power sources such as solar,wind,and geothemal and hydro-power generation to cut down cost of energy as commercial farming employs a lot of energy .
How to derisk agriculture through conservational agriculture,planting without ploughing or Zero tillage,reduction of risk due to adverse climatic conditions,risk management and crop insurance are going to be showcased
The project is also to provide a roadshow for attraction of young Ghanaians to agriculture and more so,to make them appreciate the value of technology and investment of money for good results .
It is the view of the bank that Ghana has a growing middle class who need more meat,vegetables among others .The planned investments in commercial agriculture would therefore position Ghana as production and value addition hub.
This was disclosed during an interview at the Upper East regional cpaital of Bolgatanga by Dr,Martin Fregene,Advisor on Feed Africa to the Vice President on Agriculture,Human and Social Development of the AfDB during a Roadshow of Investors and local farmers who took field trips to major commercial farms in the Northern Region of Ghana
The event which ended yesterday,Teusday day served as a prelude to the planned official launch of TASI during a 2-day Technical Consultative Workshop which opens in Accra tomorrow,Thursday .
The project is being excuted by the AfDB in collaboration with the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA) while the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority(SADA) offers content provision and plays a facilitator role.