Tamale, Nov 20, GNA – A project has been launched to sustainably increase the production of soyabean to meet the rising demand in the country.
The project dubbed: “Sustainable Soyabean Production in Northern Ghana”, also seeks to enable rural households to raise their incomes and improve their food security on a sustainable basis.
The project, being implemented within four years, has Yara Ghana Limited, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MoFA), Wageningen University and Research and Felleskjøpet Rogaland Agder as main implementing partners, and it is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
An estimated 100,000 smallholder farmers in 16 districts in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West Regions are expected to benefit from the project.
The beneficiary districts included Yendi, Saboba, Karaga, Savelugu, Nanton, Gushiegu, West Mamprusi and East Mamprusi, Bawku Municipal, Bawku West and Binduri.
The rest are Wa East, Sisala West, Sisala East, West Gonja and East Gonja.
Mr Yaw Frimpong, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, who launched the project in Tamale, was optimistic it would lead to commercial production of soyabean to meet the rising demand in the country.
The project, which is aligned with the government’s programme of “Investing for Food and Jobs: An Agenda for Transforming Ghana’s Agriculture (2018-2021)” is expected to, in the long-term, create jobs, improve food and nutrition security, contribute to balance of payments and increase incomes and profits for farmers.
Mr Frimpong said last year, the country produced 180,000 tons of soyabean, however, demand for soyabean during the period stood at 300,000 tons, which suggested that there was a huge gap to be filled through commercial production.
He, therefore, urged all partners under the project to work assiduously to meet the project’s goals for the benefit of all.
Madam Ingrid Mollestad, Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana said the project meant a lot for food security as soyabean was important for both human and animal protein.
Madam Mollestad lauded the link amongst the private sector, the state and international donors under the project and said it was important for job creation, to reduce unemployment amongst young people.
She expressed hope that the project would spur economic growth while contributing to transforming agriculture in the country.
Professor Samuel Adjei-Nsiah, Project Coordinator expressed the readiness and commitment of project implementing partners to work to attain set goals under the project.
Mr Danquah Addo-Yobo, Managing Director of Yara – Ghana, said after the project, beneficiaries would be well empowered to continue working to sustain the gains to be made.