All is set for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to commission some 75 Greenhouses and Entrepreneurship Innovative Centre at Dawhenya Irrigation site today, but The Herald’s information is that, what is meant to look like an initiative of the present government, is far from the truth.
Electronic fliers, have been sent out on the internet and adverts have been published in the Daily Graphic Newspaper, all in the midst of the fanfare, but The Herald’s investigation, has established that this project was done under the Mahama administration, but was rundown after the workers were sacked from site, when the Akufo-Addo government took office in 2017.
The project, which was under the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) at the Dahwenya Irrigation Greenhouse Enclave, had 100-hectares dedicated to lead the country’s greenhouse revolution.
Indeed, the then Chief Executive of YES, Helga Boadi, was captured by Daily Graphic online in an article written by Seth J. Bokpe and published on February 27, 2017, expressing optimism about more young people being trained to lead greenhouse vegetable production in Ghana.
Interestingly, YES, has since become National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and led by Lawyer John Ampontuah Kumah, and he has advertised same project he inherited on the official website of the institution, saying “the NEIP Greenhouse Estate Project is the largest Greenhouse Estate in Africa. Currently we have installed 75 greenhouse domes at the Dawhenya irrigation site in the Greater Accra Region”.
Mr Kumah, has also named the place after the President; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Centre for Entrepreneurship & Innovations”.
When reached, Helga Boadi, confirmed her administration started the greenhouse project with the procurement of 74 greenhouses and one nursery on land acquired at the GIDA in Dawhenya.
YES was then in discussion with the Office of President to have ex-President John Maham commission it, but this was not done before the NDC was voted out of power, leading to the change in government in January 2017.
She declined to give further information on the project.
In April 2016, YES contracted Enviro Dome UG, a Ghanaian company to procure and install 74 greenhouses and one nursery on land acquired at the GIDA in Dawhenya.
Installation of these greenhouse units commenced in June 2016 and by February 2017 at least 20 of them were in full operation, whilst the installation of the remaining units was ongoing.
It’s worthy to note that, YES handed over a total of 75 greenhouse (at various stages of installation) units to the new administration in May 2017.
Below, is the Daily Graphic publication on the project entitled “Greenhouse revolution to attract youth into agriculture“.
It’s a large tract of land dotted with swathes of green rice fields and heavy with weeds. A long dusty, snaky road split the fields but it is vehicle-friendly.
But in the belly of the wild and rice fields, greenhouses are springing up-the Dahwenya Irrigation Greenhouse Enclave where 100-hectares have been dedicated to lead the country’s greenhouse revolution.
This is where the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) is hopeful locally grown vegetables will be cultivated which will be showing up on the plates of residents of Accra more often from this year, as it begins a ground-breaking greenhouse project.
It is also where the Chief Executive of YES, Mrs Helga Boadi, is optimistic more young people would be trained to lead greenhouse vegetable production in Ghana.
Among the vegetables to be cultivated are different varieties of cucumbers, melons, tomatoes and capsicum (sweet pepper).
The state start-up financier is establishing the 75-unit greenhouse agriculture estate as an incubator to train young people and a hub for vegetable production to feed Accra, where urban agriculture is a drop in the ocean.
When completed, the YES Greenhouse Village will occupy a five-hectare land with 74 greenhouses and a nursery where seeds would be nursed and transplanted. It would be West Africa’s largest.
The greenhouses are expected to be completed in June before the project takes off.
Even before the first commercial harvest begins, MrsBoadi said there was already an off-taker who imports six forty-footer containers of vegetable into the country, and was willing to buy every single vegetable cultivated in the village.
A pilot of the farm is already yielding fruits with the harvest of cucumber, tomatoes and capsicum (green pepper).
Source: The Herald