|Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu|
The Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu Traditional Area, Ambassador Alhaji Abdulai Yakubu has said that any attempt by the ruling government to neglect or allow the “still crawling” Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to die, would be a clear case of “causing financial loss to the state”.
According to the Former Ghana Ambassador to Senegal, the failure by the government to mention the SADA in the 2015 National Budget Statement put enormous fear in the chiefs and people of the Savannah Ecological Zone comprising the Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions, who are the direct beneficiaries of the programme.
Speaking at the 30th National Farmers’ Day Celebration at Kunyevula in the Sagnarigu District of the Northern Region, Naa Abdulai Yakubu lamented that the government could not allow the huge sums of money and other valuable resources pumped into SADA to go waste.
He said that even though he had not had the opportunity to read the full text of the 2015 budget statement, there had been general information that the government would not be able to fund SADA’s activities for next year.
SADA is a Government of Ghana agency responsible for coordinating a comprehensive development agenda for the savannah ecological zones. The core mandate of SADA is to transform the Northern part of Ghana economically and socially laying emphasis on enhancing agriculture production and industrialization with the ultimate objective of sealing the development vacuum between the south and the north of Ghana.
However, the SADA has gone through several challenges emanating from financial misappropriation, mismanagement and misplacement of priorities over the years under the leadership of the Former Board Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer.
That notwithstanding, the government in transforming the SADA and bringing back its lost public confidence, instituted new Board of Directors led by Mrs. Angelina Mornah Domakyaareh and a new CEO, Dr. Charles Bugre.
On the other hand, the Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu appealed to the government not to deviate from its recently announced 2015 budget statement on agriculture in order to create more opportunities for farmers and the idling youth.
He said that agriculture played an important role in the lives of many Ghanaians aside the economic benefits it gives to the state by way of contributing more than 30% of the Gross Domestic Product and employing over 60% of the population.
The Chief who is also a farmer commended the government for enumerating several interventions that would go into the agricultural sector in 2015 especially the mentioning of fertilizer subsidy programme, seed subsidy programme and the youth in agriculture programme.
Naa Abdulai Yakubu therefore appealed to the government not to allow these promises to remain rhetoric for the politicians but be translated into a reality.
He expressed concern about the declining state of crop production in Ghana in the last few years of about 10% and hoped that the new interventions by the government would go a long way to reverse the trend.
Meanwhile, over 19 gallant farmers in the Sagnarigu District of the Northern Region were honoured in their various fields of endeavors at the farmers’ day celebration.
Mr. Alhassan Napoli from Yilonayili community of the Sagnarigu District was adjudged the overall 2014 Best Farmer of the district. He took home maize sheller donated by SADA, two cutlasses, two pair of wellington boots and a certificate. Other winners also took home several items and certificates.
The District Chief Executive for Sagnarigu, Alhassan Mohammed Sorogudoo on behalf of President John Mahama commended the gallant farmers for contributing to the development of the nation. He acknowledged the important roles played by the farmers in sustaining the nation’s economy and national food supply.
According to the DCE, the John Mahama’s administration was on course to address the concerns of Ghanaian farmers and also improve on their living conditions. Mr. Sorogudoo assured the farmers of continuous government support and in proving the necessary tools and equipment as well as the agricultural inputs for bountiful yields.