Africa Cover

NSEZ Transformation Agenda Get Major Boost

…..As AfDB-MOFA-SADA Launches Initiative at Tamale, et al

Mohammed ABU

The Northern regional capital of Tamale,Fulfuso-Sawla, Babato and Yagba all in the Northern region of Ghana, are to be the four venues for an impending launch of of the pilot phase of the African Development Bank(AfDB)’s  Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative (TASI) in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA) and the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority(SADA).

Scheduled to take place from 13th -15th November 2017,the Northern Ghana event is  a prelude to the main event. It is to take  the form of  an Investor Road show in the region, for Brazilian and Argentinian commercial farmers, input and machinery providers, as well as interested Ghanaian private sector and commercial farmers.

The Technical Consultative Workshop which is  the main event would take place on 16th and 17th November,2017  in Accra,aimed at  providing  an opportunity for relevant stakeholders, to define their contribution to the transformation of Ghana’s Savannahs, through investments, knowledge and technology exchange.

Among the participants are Ghanaian government institutions, technology providers, R&D institutions, commercial and small holder farmers, input suppliers, equipment manufacturers, policy makers, Brazilian and Argentinian commercial producers, and others.

The Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) that boast 8 million hectares arable land and  other agro-ecological  resources and once referred to as the “Granary of the Nation”,has been placed  under the mandate of the Savannah Accelerated Authority(SADA) since 2011.

Ghana’s NSEZ is a subset of  African continent-wide Guinea Savannah that represents a land mass of 400 million hectares and  stretches across 25 countries  supporting the livelihoods of 239 million people.

Only 10 percent of this total arable land potetial is said to be utilized while 136 million people dwelling therein, are said to be abiding in extreme poverty.Further to that,the African Guinea Savannah, is said to account for the remaining 65 percent of global arable land.

The expert position of the AfDB is that to be able to effectively transform the Zone leveraging upon its huge agro-ecological resorces potential, a new approach to agriculture in the African Savannahs and no more the old way of doing things,would be highly crucial

That is an agricultural sector based on sound science, knowledge, and technology,agriculture as a business that includes enterprenurial farmers, mechanization and makes money.
Environmentally friendly,agriculture that mitigates climate change, sequesters carbon, and preserves the soils.Above all, it should be Socially inclusive to reduce extreme poverty

The African Development Bank(AfDB)’s “Feed Africa Strategy” has identified unlocking the potential of the African savannahs, by transforming agriculture in this region into a competitive, commercially viable and inclusive sector that creates wealth and improves livelihoods in an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable manner.

This comes on the back of the numerous persued and other proposed game changing projects already rolled out in SADA’s Master Plan for transforming the NSEZ through commercialization of agriculture and industrialization thus, positioning it as the agro-products exports and tourism hub of Ecowas leveraging on its geo-strategic position as the gateway to Sahelean  West African market.