Agric Minister cuts sod for ESRF projects


By Christabel DANSO ABEAM

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, has cut sod for the commencement of infrastructure projects under the Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems exposed to COVID–19 (ESRF).

The sod-cutting ceremony took place in Kwesi Fante, Afram Plains South District of the Eastern Region. The primary goal of the ESRF project, which is being funded by the Government of Ghana through a loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is to safeguard livelihoods, incomes, health and promote resilience of smallholder farmers against the impacts of COVID–19 and climate change.

The sector minister highlighted construction of farm tracks, water harvesting schemes, drying platforms and boreholes as infrastructure projects under the ESRF.

“These would enhance the lives of farmers by providing access to markets, addressing water scarcity, increasing crop yields and improving post-harvest management,” he noted.

Dr. Acheampong indicated that the ESRF project consists of three crucial components designed to achieve project goals successfully.

The first component, Project against Hunger and Build Resilient Livelihoods, focuses on securing access to agricultural inputs and food supply, income generation activities and the diversification of food and nutrition supply.

The second – Safeguard Rural Marketing Linkages and Food Security’ – aims to support output marketing linkages and enhance digital marketing platforms; while the third component – Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation’ – will provide coordination, monitoring, evaluation and policy guidance for the project’s successful implementation.

He expressed confidence that the projects would impact positively on smallholder farmers and beneficiary communities.

Project Coordinator, Dr. Hayford Baah-Adade reiterated the need for all stakeholders, especially beneficiaries, to collaborate with one another to ensure the successful implementation of the ESRF projects, saying: “Together, we can work toward building a more resilient and sustainable food system that benefits all members of our agricultural community”.

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