The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF-Canada) is supporting about 10,000 smallholder farmers in the Wa West District to counter the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their livelihoods.

The beneficiary farmers were supported to plough an acre of farm land, supplied with an improved variety of maize seeds and fertilizer for the cultivation.

Madam Christiana K. Yakubu, Country Manager for CDF-Canada, announced this at a short ceremony at Dorimon on Thursday to distribute fertilizer to the beneficiaries.

She said the intervention was expected to enhance food security among the beneficiaries in 20 selected communities in the district.

The initiative dubbed “Access Project” is an emergency response intervention to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on smallholder farmers, particularly women, in the Wa West and Kpandai Districts in the Upper West and Savannah Regions.

The CDF-Canada was implementing the Access Project with funding from the Global Affairs Canada as a complement to the “4R-Nutrition Stewardship Project”, implemented by CDF-Canada in partnership with Fertilizer Canada, SEND-Ghana, African Plant Nutrition Institute and Savannah Agricultural Research Institute in the East Gonja, Kpandai, Nanumba North and Nanumba South Districts in the Northern region to support smallholder farmers to increase production.

Madam Yakubu said due to the restriction as a result of the COVID-19, smallholder farmers were at risk of food insecurity due to lack of resources to farm.

She said the one year project, spanning from June 2020 to February 2021, would increase access to agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and improved seeds and gender-equitable access to markets for smallholder farmers in the beneficiary districts.

“The project will support smallholder farmers, particularly women, with critical inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizes, production, harvesting and post-harvest technologies through a voucher system,” she said.

She said it would also train smallholder farmers on good agronomic and sustainable climate-smart agricultural practices for the vulnerable groups including physically challenged.

Naa Sohimwiniye Danaa Gori II, the Paramount Chief of the Dorimon Traditional Area, commended CDF-Canada for its support to the district to improve livelihoods of the people.

He said the residents in the district were predominantly farmers and needed support to improve their farming activities to better their lives.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to the Ghana News Agency commended CDF-Canada for the support to alleviate their plight amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They said access to tractor services and farm inputs was a major challenge impeding their farming activities and described the intervention as timely.

Present at the programme were representatives from the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council and the Wa West District Assembly.

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