At least 30,000 farmers have benefited from a food security project initiated by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA-Ghana) 11 years ago and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
From 1997, ADRA embarked on the project for 16,000 farmer households with about 160,000 beneficiaries in nine regions while in 2002, the USAID for the second time, funded the programme, through which some 14,000 farmers with 140,000 beneficiaries benefited.
Mrs. Victoria Daaku, Programmes Director of ADRA-Ghana, disclosed this at a ceremony to mark the winding up of the project in Tamale on Wednesday.
She said the close-out activities had included the mapping of fruit tree crop establishments (citrus, cashew and mango farms) and the linking of client farmers to marketing organisations.
She said all participating farmers would be handed over to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the district assemblies for continuity.
Mrs Daaku said although the food security project was closing, ADRA-Ghana would continue to implement other projects, including new ones, adding that her organisation was currently discussing with other donors and district assemblies to start similar projects.
This would enable ADRA-Ghana to transfer the experiences and lessons from the project to other communities.
She said under the ADRA/USAID project, the Northern Region was supported over the past ten years to cultivate soybeans, groundnuts and maize.
In a power point presentation, Mrs Daaku showed that under the project the Savelugu/Nanton District established 18 mango farms, 142 cashew farms and 27 woodlots and constructed 271 silos.
The Tolon/Kumbungu District established 28 woodlots and cultivated 73 cashew farms and constructed 345 mud silos.
Mr. Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture commended ADRA-Ghana for helping to improve food security in the region through its interventions.
He urged the district assemblies and beneficiary communities of the ADRA-initiated projects to take proper care of facilities that would be handed over to them.