NRGP links 345 c’nities with 646.25km road

Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan.JPG4The Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) has constructed 646.25 kilometres of feeder roads to link 345 communities in five regions.

The roads, constructed in 32 districts in the Northern, Upper East and West, some parts of Brong Ahafo and Volta regions, connect hundreds of farming communities to market centres to boost economic activities in the areas.

A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Alhassan Ahmed Yakubu, who inaugurated the roads at Kukobilla, a farming community in the Northern Region at the weekend, said the project was part of government’s efforts to reduce poverty in the country.

The roads were constructed at a total cost of Gh¢38 million to link crop production areas to market centres. It aims at supporting the agricultural value chain activities to reduce poverty in the areas.

The NRGP is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with funding from the government, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the International Fund for Agriculture Development, to achieve sustainable agriculture and rural livelihoods and food security for the rural poor in Northern Ghana.

“These roads are serving over 248,000 direct community members and benefiting over 500,000 indirect beneficiaries, including input dealers, marketers amongst others,” Dr. Yakubu said.

He said the roads, together with improved access to inputs and markets, had started yielding results, explaining that, “farmers’ productivity has increased from as low as 0.8 tonnes per hectare to 3.5 tonnes per hectare for maize in some areas.”

Besides the agricultural benefits, he said, the roads also came with other social benefits as the communities now had access to amenities such as schools and hospitals.

He commended the development partners, including the AfDB, for financing the construction of the roads.

Mr Felix Darimani, the acting Coordinator of the Programme, said the NRGP had facilitated farmers’ access to the markets.

He noted that the major challenges confronting many farmers in the rural areas were access to the markets and quality storage and added that NRGP was constructing warehouses in the some of the communities for storage of food crops, including vegetables, for transportation to other parts of the country.

He noted that the roads would boost agricultural production and consequently improve the livelihoods of the people in the municipality.

From: Yakubu Abdul-Majeed,Kukubila.

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