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We'll ensure Babato farms is connected to national grid to boost production — Savannah regional minister

By Ananpansah, B Abraham
General News We'll ensure Babato farms is connected to national grid to boost production — Savannah regional minister
JAN 10, 2022 LISTEN

The Savannah Regional Minister, Saaed Muhazu Jibreal has hinted of plans to extend electricity to the Babato Farms Company Limited in the Bole-Bamboi District of the Savannah Region in order to help cut cost and boost production.

He made this remark when he paid a working visit to the Babato farms in the company of all the MMDCEs in the region and the various security heads as part of activities marking their annual retreat.

According to the minister, the farm has the ability to provide employment to the teaming youth in the Savannah Region and the Bono East Region when supported with the needed logistics.

"We are in the Bole District as Savannah Regional Coordinating Council. We actually came for a retreat to talk about government policies for the past year and what is ahead of us for 2022. Today was designed to see investments by private people and government projects within the Savannah Region.

"And as can be seen, Babato Farms is one of the biggest agricultural investment we have in the Savannah Region with employment potentials for the youth. One of the major problems of the farms is electricity. As can be seen, they have giant machines generating power for the irrigation plants, which in a day takes up to 1500 litres to 1800 litres of Diesel within 30 hours to irrigate this land.

"And so,there is the need for us to cut cost and by cutting cost means that government in its power will have to make sure that we bring the national grid to this facility here...So as I speak now, myself and my DCE for Bole are going to put our heads together to make sure that we go to see the minister of energy to speed up electricity connection to the farm. We intend to link the ongoing electricity extension work between Babato village and the next village where the farm is located so that they get access to electricity. We will make sure that the electricity is provided so that they are able to develop 50% of their underutilized land," he said.

Whilst encouraging other investors to take advantage of the many investment potentials in the region, the minister said the region was poised to reclaim its lost glory as the biggest maize producing region in Northern Ghana.

The manager of Babato Farms, Mahabaleshwar Hegde disclosed that the Babato farm was established in 2016 by a UK based African Agricultural Company, AgDevCo to lease 10,000 hectares of land from the people of Babato to setup a commercial farming hub. The farm in his narration is now being fully owned by Obaapack Ghana, a fruit and vegetable agribusiness conglomerate located at Techiman in the Bono East Region.

According to him, the Babato Farms Company Limited currently has about 353 hectares of land in utilization with 9,000 hectares of under utilized land. He added that, they intend to fill the shortage in maize production in Ghana.

He said they rotate four crops cycles in a year to reduce pest and disease build up in the soil i.e maize, soybeans, onion and banana with a major focus now on onion and soyabeans, which is the main focus of Obaapack.

Recounting the challenges of the farm, he said the high production cost from diesel for the plants and sometimes, the changing weather patterns affect output and profit margins.

The District Chief Executive for Bole-Bamboi, Veronica Alele Heming commended the management of Babato farms for the good work they were doing for the region and pledged the full support of the government.

The Babato Farms located in the Bole-Bamboi District draws water from the Black Volta through floating pipes to irrigate about 2 hectors of Banana field, 2.4 hectors of onion nursery among others.

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