SADA Must Explain This Lapse

saThe Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) is an independent agency set up  in 2010 to co-ordinate a comprehensive development agenda for the Northern Savannah ecological zone of Ghana.

The area comprises the three northern regions  Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Region and stretches to include districts contiguous to the Northern Region, in the north of Brong Ahafo and Northern Volta.

SADA constitutes Ghana’s response to the effects of climate change, as characterised by floods and drought.
The agency’s main thrust is to promote sustainable development, using the notion of a forested and green north to catalyse climate reversal  and improve the  livelihoods of the most vulnerable citizens in the area.

The strategy would equally provide opportunities for poor peasants, especially women, to own economic trees, increase  up their food crop production and protect the fragile eco-system of the northern savannah, by managing the flood-prone river-beds better.

The main objective of SADA is to help bridge the yawning development gap between the northern and southern sectors of the country, through the creation of jobs, to discourage the migration of the youth from the impoverished north to the south, in search of  non-existing  jobs.

In recent times, however, it appears the good intention of this all-important project is being defeated by the actions and inactions of the people appointed to manage it.

The programme has come under a barrage of criticisms for the lack of transparency in the huge public investments committed into the various projects under it.

For instance, it is sad to hear that more than 350 tonnes of certified maize seeds produced locally at huge costs have been locked up in a warehouse in the Upper West Region, due to the lack of buyers.

The local seed growers have alleged that the government, through SADA, has continued to import the same kind of seeds from South Africa and Brazil for distribution to farmers  under its block farming programme.

Most of the imported seeds, we are informed, do not conform to the environmental conditions of the country, and, therefore, the farmers had low yields, In addition, the imported seeds are more expensive, compared to the locally produced ones.  For example, a 4.5 kilogramme of the imported seeds costs GH¢95 per acre of cultivation, while the locally produced costs GH¢18 per acre.

This situation is disheartening, especially when the farmers were encouraged by SADA to produce the seeds.
We do not understand why the country would continue to import maize seeds when our own farmers could produce to meet the local demand. We request immediate investigation into this matter.

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