The Minister of Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, has directed that $40 million of World Bank support funding for agriculture be given to farmers in the Volta Region who have lost their crops as a result of the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.
He believes this will help restore the livelihood of farmers who are worst hit.
Speaking at the launch of the Youth In Agric initiative under the job module of the Youth Employment Agency, Mr. Acheampong said farmers would be well-taken care of.
“To our friends, brothers, and family on the Volta and eastern stretch of the Akosombo Dam’s path, we have all witnessed the devastation as a result of the necessary action the VRA had to take to save the Akosombo Dam. As a result, several farmers have been affected and a lot of them have had their crops completely wiped out.”
“I have directed that due to this emergency, $40 million of the World Bank-funded Food Systems Resilience Programme be restructured to restore farmers whose farms have been wiped out due to the necessary action taken by the VRA to save us all.”
The Minister highlighted the importance of agriculture in the country’s economy and expressed his concern for the affected farmers. He assured them that the government is fully committed to supporting them during this difficult time.
The funds, which are part of the World Bank-funded Food Systems Resilience Programme, will be used to provide financial assistance to farmers to help them recover from the loss of their farmlands. It will be distributed in a fair and equitable manner, with a focus on ensuring that those who have been most severely impacted are given priority.
The Minister also announced that a comprehensive assessment will be conducted to determine the extent of the damage caused by the dam spillage.
This will help in identifying the affected farmers and ensure that the funds are allocated appropriately.
Local authorities and agricultural experts will work together to ensure that the funds are disbursed efficiently and effectively. Support will be provided to the farmers in various forms, including the provision of seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs.
The Ministry of Agriculture will also collaborate with other relevant agencies to provide training and capacity-building programs for the affected farmers.
This will help them enhance their farming techniques, improve productivity, and ensure long-term sustainability.
The government’s swift response to the needs of the affected farmers has been widely praised. Farmers in the Volta Region have expressed their gratitude for the support, stating that it will go a long way in helping them recover from the devastating loss.
The Akosombo Dam spillage occurred as a result of heavy rainfall and the subsequent need for the Volta River Authority (VRA) to release excess water from the dam to prevent it from overflowing. While this action was necessary to protect the dam and prevent more severe flooding, it unfortunately led to the destruction of farmlands and crops in the surrounding areas.
The government remains determined to ensure that the affected farmers are not left to suffer the brunt of this unfortunate incident. With the allocation of $40 million, they aim to restore the livelihoods of these farmers and help them rebuild their lives.
By Vincent Kubi