A heavy rainstorm on Sunday hit a farming community at Kokubila- Nasia in the Savelugu Municipality in the Northern Region resulting in the destruction of 350 acres of commercial farms.
One of the farms, a 120-acre farm located at Kokubila on the Tamale-Bolgatanga road, affected by the rainstorm poses risk to food security and could render some farm hands jobless.
The more than three-hour downpour also destroyed a 100-acre center pivot irrigation scheme worth US$150,000, more than 60 cattle and sheep pen house worth GH¢200,000, a US$50,000 solar panel system that runs a hybrid power supply to the irrigation schemes. Also destropyed is a GH¢120,000 worth of warehouse, mango and butter nut squash plantation, soy bean, sweet potato, rice and vegetable farms.
More so a pack house facility for the farmers in the municipality to help farmers meet the requisite high standards for their produce on the export market funded by ADB, IFAD and the Ministry of Agriculture under the Northern Rural Growth Programme had part of the roofing sheet ripped off.
The post-harvest infrastructure, which has cooling facilities attached to them owned and managed by the community, including the private sector could get the machines destroyed if immediate attention is not paid to it.
A visit to the affected farm and its surroundings observed that the mango plantation had almost all unripe mangoes plugged off by the wind while some mango and other trees uprooted by the winds. The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has visited the affected communities and assessed the damages.
The farm’s manager, Hisham Seidu, in an interview with the B&FT, said the company had been exporting butter nuts squash and the current situation could halt their activities this year if support is not extended to revamp the destroyed farm equipment. “This is the beginning of the farming season and we were about to start ploughing when this havoc occurred,” he said.
The Savelugu Municipal Administrator for the NADMO, Alhaji Yakubu Ibrahim, who also visited the farm site expressed worry about the rate at which the rainstorm had destroyed the farm produce and other infrastructure meant for the production of food crops to feed the nation.
According to him, while the nation is battling with the COVID-19, which is affecting food security, the few helping to revamp the agricultural sector have now been affected by the rainstorm and there would be need for donor organizations to help the managers of the farm to bounce back to business.
Abdul Wahab Salifu, a farmer in charge of the mango plantation, also expressed worry about the station saying if government and other donor agencies do not help, it could lead to the withdrawal of the farmers who depend on the farm for their livelihoods.