Send Ghana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has organised a forum on agriculture for some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Tamale.
The forum was to build the capacities of CSOs and small-holder farmers drawn from the Upper East, Upper West, and the Northern regions, to carry out policy dialogue with state officials and stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
It was on the theme: ?Tackling Bottlenecks Impeding Smallholder Agriculture Development in the Northern Savanna Ecological Zone.?
Mr Ayueboro Adama, Agricultural Economist, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said some 62,000 hectares of sustainable water harvesting and agriculture water management schemes in the Northern and Southern Savanna zones had been identified and developed to benefit 10,000 households.
He said the productivity of irrigation schemes in the country had increased by 25 per cent and would be increased by 50 per cent by 2015.
He gave the assurance that the government had put in place measures to add some 80 hectares of irrigable land to farmers in the three Northern regions.
MOFA, he said, had also rehabilitated and completed the Ave-Afiadenyigba and the Dawa dams in the Volta Region, which had added additional 60 hectares of irrigable land to the existing area for cultivation.
Mr John Nkaw, Programmmes Officer of SEND-Ghana, said policy planning and implementation had not been adequate due to financial constraints, delays, and institutional lapses in the three regions.
He said there was, therefore, the need to increase civil society?s awareness on agricultural sector policies and programmes.