Smallholder crop production in northern Ghana could improve from the traditional rainy season farming into an all-year farming season. This is because; the Hatoum Trading Company has introduced a technology to complement the efforts of government to enhance crop production in the country, especially in the three northern regions and other parts of the Ghana.
The ‘Sunflower’ or Future Pump is a solar irrigation pump that was launched in Tamale on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 to support smallholder farmers in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern and Volta regions.
Addressing smallholder farmers and other industry players in the agribusiness value chain, the Managing Director of Hatoum Trading Company, Mr. Iyad Hatoum said looking at the fact that, the biggest farming activities especially small scale farming takes place in northern Ghana, the plant (future pump) is developed to serve the farmer upscale their farms and yields as well.
He noted that this will help them (farmers) to become better farmers to elevate their incomes and also produce enough food for the country.
According to Mr. Iyad, the sunflower pump is serving farmers in many African countries and therefore, there is the big need for it here in Ghana.
“So we came out with this kind of technology, it is a solar power irrigation pump. Ken power can irrigate up to one hectare farm depending on the type of irrigation system that you use. Ghana is very rich in power which is solar, we have to make good use of it and the solar pump comes to place” he stated.
The Hatoum Managing Director indicated that the pump is a very robust technology. Adding that, as much as the farmer can take good care of it and reporting any fault to their branches in Tamale, Wa, Bolga and Ho, it can last for 15 years. “We make sure that we are closer to farmers to serve what type of needs they have. One of them is the repairing and maintenance of this machine and if they keep on changing the wearable parts, it can beyond that” he stressed further.
Meanwhile, in a speech delivered on behalf of the northern Regional Minister, the Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Issahaku Alhassan welcomed the launch of the plant and said that this development will equip the industrious farmers to produce crops all year long.
He stated that “this will be pivotal for reducing poverty as empirical evidence suggest that increasing agricultural productivity by 1% leads to 0.48% reduction in rural poverty compared with 0.43% reduction in other areas in the world”.
He noted that, this will trigger huge economic benefits for farmers, their families and the wider community. He urged the firm to effect a purchase plan to accommodate farmers of varied financial capacity.
“As I noted earlier, most of the farmers you have targeted operate at small-medium scale capacity and so will require some sort of tailor-made plan to cushion them against the cost of this excellent product” he admonished.
Alhaji Issahaku Alhassan said again that, education on the operations of the product is equally important, as this will guarantee the optimum performance of the plant. He also encouraged that, after sale service and spare parts should be made accessible in order that farmers will not miss out on the splendid benefits of this product because of a defective part that is unavailable.
story by: Mohammed Gadafi, northstarfmonline.com _ Ghana, Tamale