PRESIDENT OF GHANA’S VISIT TO IWAD

The President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo made a visit to the Sisili-Kulpawn Irrigation Project as part of his visit to Yagaba-Kubori Constituency to attend a durbar of Chiefsand commission a 1000 Metric Tons warehouse facility in Yagaba.

He was welcomed by the Managing Director Ing. Busia N. Dawuni and other Senior Management ofIWAD Ghana Limited at the River pump (headworks) station. The President was shown the facilitiesthere, including pumps, pump controlled units. The entourage later proceeded to the Booster pumpstation where water distribution to the four irrigation systems of the project is coordinated.

The President was also shown round the 18,000 cubic meter capacity reservoir, the distribution pumps,pump control units and the IWAD Solar hybrid installation by Mr. Obed K. Tuabu (Field OperationsManager) together with Mr. Lucas Abuntori (Irrigation Technician) and Charles Abeila (ElectricityTechnician).

He made his final stop at the IWAD seed shed where he was welcomed by Mr. MatthewSukoro (Dep. Farm Manager).
He was then shown around harvested maize seeds, the seed cleaning process and bagging for furthersorting and final bagging in the Planting for Food and Jobs sacks.

The President later inspected IWAD maize and soya seeds under the PFJ programme where he also got
to see the various seed samples presented by our Seeds Business Manager, Mr. David Konlan, and later
presented with a gift by Mrs. Kusumi Ibrahim – Monitoring and Evaluation Manager.

The Adviser to IWAD, Mr. Tutu Agyare and the Assistant Farm Manager, Mr. Mathew Sukoro in a Briefing of the President at the Yagaba Site.
Staffs of IWAD in a group picture the President.
The Managing Director of IWAD, Mr. Busia Dawuni, briefing the President at the Pump station.
IWAD seed Business Manager, Mr David Kolan, taking the President and his team through the types of seeds
IWAD’s Fields Operations Manager, Mr. Obed Tuabu briefing the President at the Booster station.
A gift for the President being unveiled and presented by IWAD’s Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Mrs. Ibrahim Kusumi.

Smallholder and Conservation Farming Model

The season started with community sensitization and registration of farmers in all project communities that have rice valleys, as IWAD Ghana Ltd. attention is more on rice cultivation as this is seen to be more profitable to smallholder farmers and the organization over the years. 15 communities with 500 smallholder farmers are targeted for the 2018 wet season.

IWAD hard working technical officers are determined to take farmers through advanced and modern farming technologies as contained in the operations manual for increased yields.

Farmers’ sensitization in project communities
Farmers’ sensitization in project communities

Farmers are trained on how to prepare land using land conservation techniques like minimum soil disturbance, bunds making, levelling and contours making to maximize their yields.

Land preparation in some communities
Pegging of a demonstration farm
Pegging of a demonstration farm

Smallholder farmers on good agronomic practice for improved yield.

 

The Nucleus farm -May 2018 updates

The SKIP (SISILI – KULPAWN IRRIGATION PROJECT) irrigation project has enabled the Nucleus Estate to have 2 cropping seasons in each farming year – the WET SEASON (April to September) and the DRY SEASON (October to March.)

The dry season ended on a positive note. Very good yields were received on the onion crop planted in the drip irrigation block. Going forward, IWAD will concentrate more on commercial seed development and thus has already done some seed production in the just ended dry season. The seed maize grown under centre pivot irrigation yielded well as did the seed ground nuts and seed soya beans. The dry season focus has also been on land levelling and road building which will improve water drainage during the heavy rains falling in the wet season.

A large shed has been erected for seed crop grading and crop drying as well as providing shelter for valuable tractors and farm equipment.

The 2018 wet season is almost upon us. Temperatures are hot and storm clouds are building up. Land preparation for the wet season has begun.  The focus this farming season is on seed crop production. Two varieties of seed maize will be planted. One is for the production of hybrid seed maize. The second is an OPV seed maize variety.  Two varieties of seed soya beans will be planted for the production of much needed seed soya beans in the country. Seed sorghum will also be planted and used for seed production. These crops will be planted with irrigation and continue to grow with the rains expected this wet season.  Harvesting of crops will begin in October 2018.

IWAD SUGARCANE TRIAL IN YAGABA

Sugarcane is one of the crops that have been planted since the start of the pilot phase of IWAD irrigation project in Yagaba. Nine (9) varieties are currently planted on site, six (6) varieties were brought from Mauritius by cuttings, two (2) varieties from South Africa by seedlings and 1 variety from Komenda by cuttings – Local Var.

All varieties received the necessary conditions for good growth and also went through a hardening-off process in preparation for field conditions. All varieties survived and have produced reasonable tillers at 3cm- 4cm stalk diameter to 3m-3.5m height of value stalk and are of best stands. The estimated yield ranges from 130 -134 t/ha. There is absolutely no disease infestation recorded since these seed cane varieties have been established and with most of the varieties being better drought resistant in quality.



IWAD partners with Africa Lead Agribusiness Internship Programme(A-LEAP)

When the A-LEAP programme was initiated in Ghana in early 2017, IWAD found synergy between the programme’s objectives and IWAD’s planned work placement initiative for the youth.

The A-LEAP programme aims to provide opportunities for African youth aged 18-35 to gain practical experience and knowledge in the agricultural sector. The broad goal is to support skills transfer and technological know-how that will help African agribusinesses and organizations to innovate, improve their commercial viability and catalyze agricultural transformation, thus contributing to improved food security.

The program objectives are to:

  • enhance the professional development of youth interested in agribusiness and

agricultural development through training and on-the-job-learning.

  • improve the viability and performance of host organizations and;
  • strengthen tertiary institutions’ promotion of careers in agribusiness and agricultural

development.

IWAD agreed to host five interns who will carry out specific tasks to support different areas of the company’s operations: seed production monitoring, accounting, set up of a Community Information Centre, Irrigation technical support and development of a strategy for commercialization of new seed products.

The interns are being sponsored under a cost-share arrangement with Africa Lead and started their internship in July 2017. Africa Lead also provided coaching and an orientation training for interns to prepare them to enter the workforce with professionalism. The internship period will be 3months with the possibility of a full time job placement for exceptional performance.

 

PICA updates

Three demonstration farms have been established with small solar applications at three different locations close to water source, one at Kpasenkpe, another one at Yagaba and the IWAD nucleus farm estate. Over 50 farmers have so far participated in the demonstration farm training on how to use small solar applications for the cultivation of vegetables and other crops in the dry season. Various crops such as pepper, onions, groundnuts, maize, cowpeas, okro and water melon were planted at the three demo locations and crops are at different stages. Onions, pepper, groundnuts and okro are at harvesting stage.

PICA is collaborating with the Yagaba senior technical High school to use one of the demo farms as a school farm to practically train their Agric students and interested teachers on the use of solar for irrigation farming.

Processes for the construction of the major 0.8MW solar infrastructure for the nucleus estate will start very soon as the contracting process is advanced with a very reputable company.

The project has entered into partnership with the Yagaba district assembly to provide solar power for the operations of the Community Information Center (CIC) which has never functioned since its inception. Renovations to the center is completed, manager of the ICT hired, various stakeholders of the CIC have been sensitized on the purpose of the CIC and operations will start in few weeks’ time.

Deputy Dutch Ambassador’s visit to IWAD

On the 23rd August 2017, the deputy Dutch Ambassador to Ghana Mrs. Caecilia Wijgers made a visit to the project site in Yagaba to see how the project is doing since its inception.

Mrs. Caecilia Wijgers

She made time to interact with the chief and elders of Yagaba, a familiarization tour to the farm lands and offices as well as an interaction with some staff of IWAD. Caecilia was generally impressed by what she saw and encouraged the good work to continue.

Consultations/Potential Investors’ Visits

On Saturday, the 22nd of April, 2017, IWAD led by the Operations Manager received an entourage from the Government of Ghana at the project site in Yagaba. The entourage included the Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Salifu Saeed; Minister of State in-charge of Special Development Initiatives, Hon. Hawa Koomson and other dignitaries. The Operations Manager, Small holder Irrigation, Monitoring & Evaluation and Customary Land Liaison Officers as well as Community Education, Gender and Advocacy Officer walked the team through the site and explained IWAD’s operations to them.

Also, IWAD was fortunate to receive Mr. Soeters Sebastian, to conduct a research geared towards fostering farmer-fulani livelihood synergies. Mr. Sebastian works for the University of Utrecht in Holland and was invited by the Managing Director (MD) of IWAD, Mr. Tom Durang to carry out the research.

The objectives of Sebastian’s visit included, identifying IWAD infrastructure and natural resource creation and use including geo-tagging; identifying changes in livelihoods and customary practices in communities; identifying and documenting changing perceptions of land users (farmers, Fulani’s, etc.) and local authorities in resolving/exacerbating conflict.

Interactions with Fulani herdsmen in Yagaba in their settlement

AfDB Visit to IWAD

On Tuesday November 14, 2017, a team from the African Development Bank (AfDB ) together with SADA and some government officials led by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture ( Dr. Sagre Bambangi) visited IWAD project site in Yagaba. 30 people participated comprising 16 senior members and others including the media and security personnel. The team was on an Agricultural Development Investment road show in northern Ghana and wanted to see the IWAD flagship project in Yagaba.