The government has secured a $34 million loan facility to fully rehabilitate the Left Bank Irrigation Project in Kepong.
The project, which has been completed and awaits investors, is located between Akuse in the eastern region and Torgorme in the North Tongo region of Volta Reggio.
The Rehabilitation will pave the way for commercial rice production, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Oso Afrey Akoto, adding that around 110 foreign and domestic investors have expressed interest in investing in the project being implemented by the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP). ).
Addressing a delegation of chiefs and members of the traditional Torgorme region in his office in Accra, Dr. Akuto assured them that in rehabilitating the region for commercial farmers, the ministry was familiar with the indigenous people and, therefore, retained a sufficient portion of irrigation lands in order for them to be cultivated.
The delegation, led by Makrado in Turgorm, Tugbe Gedi IV, met with the Minister to obtain clarification on the prospects for indigenous people interested in farming in the rehabilitated area.
They also demanded the minister’s intervention to ensure that businesses that may arise from the project do not exploit the local workforce through low wages.
Also read: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kuwait International Cooperation Agency sign a grant of $6.53 million to rehabilitate local irrigation systems
The minister appealed to residents of Turgormi to refrain from comments that might alienate potential investors.
“As a government, we cannot risk this investment with the statements of local leaders,” he said, adding that some investors were concerned about the statements attributed to Tojbi Gedi IV at an investment conference held at the project site.
He said Ghana has a reputation that should be protected, adding that “Ghana is the only country that has democracy and foreign investors trust the economy.”
Dr. Akuto assured the President and his people that apart from the opportunity provided to the indigenous people to participate in agriculture, the project would provide employment opportunities for thousands of young people.
“So you have absolutely nothing to fear being denied. Instead, we are bringing opportunities to the youth and farmers of your area.
He explained that the project area was owned by the government that was secured in the early seventies and was not fully exploited until the current government decided to rehabilitate it for commercial agriculture.
Unlike the first phase when the project was run as a social beneficiary project, this time it is purely commercial. Dr. Akoto explained that the project should generate funds to repay the loan and secondly to maintain the facility.
Read also: Micro Irrigation System: 75 farmers earn GH 170,000 in 2 years
Tugbe Gedi IV thanked the Minister for the invitation and provided the assurance that the residents of Torgorm are not against the project but are concerned that they will not be taken into account in the scheme of things.
He said that as president, he only echoed the concerns of his people and was happy that the ministry had taken into account the desire of the indigenous people to farm at the project site.
The GCAP Project Coordinator, Mr. Osei Owusu-Agyeman, appealed to the President and the people on the project site to maintain the spirit of cooperation that the project had enjoyed thus far, assuring them that the government would never undermine them.
He said the strategy is to create an economic zone and appealed to them to work with the project management.
The Chief Executive of North Tongo, Richard Collins Arko, was pleased to address the issues that concerned the President and his people.
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