The Upper West Regional Programme Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the European Union Ghana Agriculture Programme (EU-GAP) has visited some EU-GAP projects sites in the region to ascertain whether or not those projects were implemented according to plan.
The projects visited were under the Market Oriented Agricultural Programme-North West (MOAP-NW) and the Resilient Against Climate Change (REACH) under the EU-GAP.
The team visited an e-Learning project at the Jirapa Municipal Assembly under the REACH project, a rice mill at Antika Company Ltd, and a Neem Crop Protector facility (neem seeds processing facility) at the Regional Department of Agriculture under the MOAP-NW project.
Addressing the media after the field visit, Mr Joseph Apeeliga, the regional PCU Technical Advisor, said the monitoring was a routine exercise by the PCU to sample projects sites after its quarterly meetings.
He said it was to enable the PCU team see for itself the projects being implemented and their potential benefit to the people.
“It also helps us to promote the visibility of the programme and to have a feel of what has happened in the past few months”, Mr Apeeliga added.
He explained that PCU was an advisory body that oversees the implementation of the EU-GAP programme with its members from agencies and departments that have a stake in EU-GAP.
Mr Aman Emile, an Expert for Inputs and Crop Protection at the MOAP-NW, who spoke on the neem processing facility, indicated that the project was borne out of their quest to reduce the use of synthetic pesticide and its harmful effects on the environment and human lives.
“We are promoting sustainable agriculture, but we cannot ask farmers to practise sustainable agriculture if we don’t give them what it takes to do it.
“So we have realised that there is the need to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly agro pesticide for our dear farmers”, he explained.
Mr Emile said the neem seed powder could be used as a fertilizer supplement to improve absorption, while the neem seed oil could be used as a pesticide for every kind of crop for both curative and preventive measures.
He explained that the project was still under the pilot stage and was envisaged to be implemented in all 14 districts and municipalities in MOAP-NW operational area.
He said the intervention would help provide jobs for the people, especially women who would be collecting the neem seeds and processing them.
Talking about the e-Library project, Mr Abudul Karimu, the Jirapa Municipal Coordinating Director, said the project would help improve easy and timely access to information from the assemblies.
He explained that there were plans for the districts and municipalities to fund the e-Library project after the MOAP-NW project had folded up and to provide the needed infrastructure for its operation as it was in line with the government’s digitisation agenda.
On his part, Alhaji Abudulai Antiku, the Managing Director of Antika Company Ltd, commended the EU-GAP project for the support to establish the rice mill and other interventions that have placed the company on a pedestal to provide quality services to smallholder farmers.
He said the intervention would help improve agricultural activities among smallholder farmers in the region.