Mr Irchad Razaaly, the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, has expressed confidence in the potential impact of the Neem Processing Factory in the Upper West Region on smallholder farmers in the region and the country.

He said the products from the factory – neem oil, neem cake powder and neem husk mulch – were potent in promoting ecologically friendly agricultural practices and ensuring long-term agricultural sustainability.

Mr Razaaly said this in Wa during a tour of some EU project sites in the region including the Neem Processing Factory to ascertain the state of operation of the facility and a greenhouse garden cultivated with the neem products.

The EU delegation also called on the Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu and the Paramount Chief of the Wala Traditional Area, Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV to announce their presence and mission in the region.

The Neem Processing Factory known as the ‘Neem Crop Protector’ is an initiative of the EU through the grand EU Ghana Agriculture Programme (E
UGAP) and managed by the Tibourataa Women Group.

The Factory had a production capacity of 60 litres per day and was certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to produce safe bio-pesticides for effective pest control.

Mr Razaaly explained that the products from the factory such as pesticides were safe and highly affordable for agricultural production compared to the inorganic chemicals in the market.

Ms. Wasila Issah, the Factory Manager, conducted the team from the EU and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) led by Mr Razaaly around the processing facility.

She said the factory had created an alternative source of livelihood for about 600 smallholder women farmers in the region through the collection and sale of raw materials (neem seeds) for processing.

On his part, Mr Seidu Mubarak Abdulai, the Deputy Managing Director of Antika Company Limited, acclaimed the economic advantage of the neem oil pesticide over the inorganic chemicals in pest control in terms of affordability
and effectiveness.

‘With the neem oil you need to spray once, maximum twice within the farm even if you are to control fall army warm, but with the inorganic, you can spray as much as three to five times, which is more expensive considering the cost of labour,’ he explained.

At the Wa Naa palace, Mr Razaaly told the chief that the Upper West Region was the key beneficiary region of the EU cooperation in Ghana with an investment of EUR132 million in agricultural infrastructure including roads and dams as well as health facilities.

Naa Pelpuo commended the EU and its partners for the numerous projects they were undertaking in the region geared towards improving people’s livelihoods.

Mr Yakubu, thanked the EU for its continuous support to the government of Ghana to improve the economic condition of the people in the country, especially the Upper West Region.

He also appealed to the EU to consider some road intervention for the Sissala area since that belt was regarded as the major food production zone in th
e region but was left out in the 670km EUGAP feeder and farm access road project.

The team was in the region to, among other things, commission the 670 km feeder and farm access roads project funded under the EUGAP.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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