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08.06.2004 Regional News

Agriculture receives a boost in Upper Region

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Paga (U/E), June 8, GNA - Agriculture in Upper East Region is receiving a major boost as 900 million cedis is made available to rehabilitate canals at the Tono Irrigation Project and tomato farmers are re-capitalised with 640 million cedis.

Vice President Aliu Mahama announced these on Monday when he addressed separate durbars organised by the chiefs and people of Kassena- Nankana District at Navrongo and Paga.

He said the 900 million cedis would be used for the first phase of the rehabilitation work on the canals at Tono, one of the major irrigation projects managed by the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR). Soya beans, sorghum, rice and tomatoes are the main crops cultivated.

Vice President had earlier inaugurated 587 million cedis dam funded under the Village Infrastructure Programme (VIP) at Akurugudabo. He advised ICOUR, which constructed the six-hectare facility to properly maintain it to save it from silting up.

Alhaji Mahama said the Government planned to construct six dams to sustain agricultural activities all year round and to prevent the youth from migrating to Southern Ghana in search of jobs.

Vice President Mahama said the dams would be protected from siltation by the cultivation of grafted mangoes around them. The mangoes, 5,000 seedlings of which would be planted, would also support the income of the people.

Additionally, Alhaji Aliu Mahama said 300 locally manufactured windmill-operated pumps for irrigation would soon be piloted in the District. One windmill can irrigate 10 hectares.

He said the release of the 640 million cedis would provide credit to tomato farmers, who lost their harvest last season due to drought.

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