Botanga (NR), May 16, GNA – The United States has planned a comprehensive development agenda in northern Ghana with a budgetary allocation of $200 million in areas of education, agriculture and health.
The agenda, which is meant to alleviate poverty, improve sustainable livelihoods through human resource development and creating enabling environment for income generating activities in a private-sector led initiative spans 2010 to 2017.
Mr Gene Allen Cretz, US Ambassador announced this at Botanga Irrigation Dam site in the Kumbungu District on Thursday as part of his two-day official visit to the Northern Region.
He will use the visit to inspect US-assisted development programmes, meet with local communities and other stakeholders.
Mr Cretz had earlier held a closed door meeting with Mr Bede Ziedeng, Regional Minister.
The US is implementing the Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) project in four regions of Ghana.
The project is in line with the USAID-Feed the Future strategy being implemented by local and international consortium.
The ADVANCE project had introduced improved infrastructure and technology that had enabled farmers realised increased farm yields of rice, maize and soyabean and as a result increased their income levels.
Mr Cretz said the Northern part of the country remained one of the areas of US major commitments and partnership and promised to commit more resources towards improving sustainable economic activities.
“The United States is committed to increasing our development assistance programming in northern Ghana over the next five years…not only to address the disproportionate incidence of poverty but because the north presents strategic opportunities for economic growth and investment,” he said.
Mr Cretz said the US is implementing other pro-poor social interventions such as water provision, sanitation, nutrition, farm-to-market roads and skills training for the youth.
Answering questions from journalists, he described as “horrendous” a recent media documentary that revealed an American involvement in “galamsey” (small scale mining) operations in the country and urged the security agencies to deal with any US national caught violating the law.
Mr Sule Alhassan, Chairman of the Botanga Farmers Association on behalf of the group commended the US-ADVANCE team for the assistance extended to them but appealed to the Ambassador to assist them with more farming tools such as combined harvesters, tractors and milling machines to increase their productivity.