President John Dramani Mahama last Monday cut the sod for the construction of the Tamne Dam in the Garu-Tempane District of the Upper East Region.
Water from the dam is expected to irrigate about 3,250 acres in the district and promote an all-year-round farming.
It is expected that about 5,400 direct and indirect jobs would be created following the construction of the dam. The employment that would be generated as a result would boost farming activities in the Bawku Municipality and the Garu-Tempane, Binduri and Pusiga districts.
Within 18 months, the first phase of the project, involving the construction of spill ways and a dam wall, is expected to be completed. This aspect of the work would, through gravity, provide 2,025 acres with water. The second phase of the project would involve irrigation of 1,225 acres mainly through water pumps.
A reservoir would also be created to promote acquaculture.
The Tamne Dam, among other things, will enhance food security through increased food production, reduce poverty and stem the rural-urban migration among the youth in the beneficiary districts.
The project is being executed by Messrs Munisco Limited.
Farmer service centres
Prior to performing the sod-cutting ceremony, the President indicated that it was the government’s intention to increase irrigable farmland size in the country.
“In fact, in the next five years we hope to increase it from 220,000 hectares at present to 500,000 hectares,” he said.
He announced further that the government had plans to establish 50 farmer service centres throughout the savannah ecological zone in the country where farmers could obtain credit through micro credit schemes to boost their business.
He said at least one of the 50 centres to be put up would be established in the Garu-Tempane District where produce from farmers would be marketed. Furthermore, he said farmers would be provided with fertilisers and also given modern agricultural machinery to enable them to go about their work effortlessly.
President Mahama said farmers would be registered and provided with seeds,extension and tractor services among other necessities.
“These service centres are going to help promote an agricultural revolution in Ghana,” he said.