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Dr. Asaah notes Upper East Region’s commitment to dry season irrigation farming, says it’ll feature heavily in dev’t plan

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Dr. Mohammed Sumaila Asaah has noted the Upper East Region’s commitment to dry-season irrigation farming. To this end, the 5 year development plan being formulated would consider pragmatic steps to expand irrigation farming in the region while enhancing the livelihoods of the farmers.

“The thematic areas of development for the Upper East Region are unique to the region. If we consider agriculture as an example, it is completely different from the model of farming in, say, the Upper West Region. If you come to the Upper East Region and go to areas that are for irrigation, you will see a lot of people doing irrigation. It is like a way of life. It is a skill. Where there’s even a little water, you see them struggling to turn that water into something. That is not the same in the Upper West Region,” Dr. Asaah said when he spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show yesterday, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. 

Dr. Asaah explained that the 5-year development plan would focus on developing the natural potentials of the Upper East Region. 

“We will not take what is in the Upper West Region and bring it here, and say in Northern Ghana, the youth do not want to go into irrigation farming,” he said. 

Dr. Asaah, who has been commissioned by the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council to lead the processes towards the formulation of the 5-year development plan, was worried that often, all the 5 regions of the north have been put together and profiled as the same. 

“Each of the regions needs to have such an outlook.”

“We also have the Northern Development Authority, which more or less, has a broader northern focus. So you can’t use what is at the NDA to come and do a prototype. The resources that we have in the Upper East Region are not the same as those. Because of these unique potentials, we need to harness them,” he said. 

Alhaji Abubakar Inusah, the Chief Director at the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, had more information about the regional development plan on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper Show in a recent interview.

“A strategic group was put together to ensure that they draw up a strategic plan for the region. They are at work, and very soon we will share the document with everybody. Of course, we would require the input of many people in terms of collaboration or teamwork so that, at the end of the day, we will achieve the results for which the region was created. You would agree that one of the key issues for which the regional minister was recalled from his ambassadorial role was to come and deal with the challenges. Most of the development indicators were negative. Talk about teenage pregnancies, sanitation coverage, performance contractors, et al. If it comes to the league table, we are always at the bottom. He came up with a strategy to ensure that we reverse the trend. As we speak, these trends are reversed. Progress has been made,” he said. 

According to the Chief Director of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, in November 2022, a forum was held in the region. At the end of the forum, a team was put together to ensure that the document is development to represent the sentiments people and its need for development

He continued to say that the plan would be an adaptation of an earlier plan by the Northern Development Authority.

“We want to enrich that document with the ideas we collected from the forum in November. It would be a 5-year strategic bank that would cover all aspects of development,” Alhaji Inusah said. 

The Chief Director of the UERCC explained that, properly harnessed, the natural resources available in the Upper East region would help the rapid development of the area.

“We have water bodies, mineral deposits, clay deposits, you can name them. One is wondering why, with all these resources, we are always described as one of the poorest in the region.”

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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