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SIF begins development project in 21 districts

April 1, 2016, 8:22 a.m.

The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has begun a four-year project to promote integrated rural and local development in 21 districts of the country.

The US$19.1 million project is aimed at increasing socio-economic infrastructure and household income through enhanced agricultural value chain in the beneficiary districts.

Dubbed the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP), it is jointly funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).

The OFID and the BADEA made available $10.5 million and $8.6 million respectively to the Government of Ghana in the financing agreement.

 Beneficiary districts

The beneficiary district assemblies are the Afigya Kwabre, Ahafo Ano South, Asunafo North, Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo, Fanteakwa, Ga East, Ho West, Kassena-Nankana West and Mfantseman.

The others are Nanumba South, Nkoranza North, Nkwanta North, Nzema East, Sene East, Sene West and Sisaala East.

The rest are Talensi, Upper Denkyira West, Upper Manya Krobo, Wa West and Wassa Amenfi West. 

Project components

The Executive Director of SIF, Mr Joseph Acheampong, who briefed the Daily Graphic on the project, said it encompassed five closely-knitted components and embraced four categories of expenditure in the area of goods, works, services and operating cost.

“The components include outreach and sensitisation; provision of basic socio-economic infrastructure; provision of micro, small and medium-term credit; training and technical support; and project management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation,” he explained.

Mr Acheampong said the project objectives included increasing the output of small-scale agriculture producers through the provision of input credit, technology/equipment and access to social services.

“It is also aimed at promoting farmers’ access to reliable and ready market for the produce, as well as increase accessibility to socio-economic infrastructure through investment to improve its availability and strengthened institutional capacity,” he added.

Project areas and beneficiaries

Mr Acheampong said the beneficiary districts, spread across the 10 regions, had agricultural development potentials.

He added that the project would benefit small-scale agricultural farmers and farmer groups who were engaged in the cultivation of maize, guinea corn, millet, sorghum, groundnuts, pepper, livestock and fisheries and other actors in the agricultural value chain.

“In addition, women involved in the marketing, agro-processing, fishing, farming and distribution of food crops are targeted to benefit from training and working capital,” he said.

Mr Acheampong disclosed that the relevant decentralised departments of the beneficiary district assemblies would be strengthened to provide the requisite institutional support for the project.

Outlook for 2016

Giving the outlook for 2016, he said the fund would facilitate the provision of agricultural extension services to, at least 4,000 farmers and farmer groups along the agricultural value chain.

In addition, Mr Acheampong announced the commencement of the construction of 238 sub-projects in 130 communities starting this month, as well as the disbursement of a revolving loan fund of $1,028,333 to about 4,000 farmers and farmer groups.

The projects, he said,  included six-unit classroom blocks with eight-seater latrines, teachers’ quarters, clinics, a maternity home, nurses’ quarters, all with potable water, as well as community mechanised boreholes, culverts and simple drains.

Mr Acheampong said the fund would present 168 hospital beds and mattresses and 312 hospital waiting chairs this month.

Source: Graphiconline.com

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