PENTSOS Commissions Irrigation Farming Project

The 10-acre solar-powered irrigation farm project initiated by the Pentecost Social Services (PENTSOS) last year at Tanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana has been commissioned.

The project, which falls under the Sustainable Livelihood Programme (SLP) of PENTSOS, was commissioned by the Bawku Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Gyambibi Boateng, on behalf of the Chairman, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, at a special ceremony held yesterday.

The SLP, among other objectives, seeks to empower members, especially the youth and other local farmers, to gain sustainable income.

Apostle Gyambibi, in his welcome address at the ceremony, indicated that the mandate of the Church is to disciple the nations, and embedded in this charge is the responsibility of transforming society. 

The Area Head said the irrigation project is, therefore, a catalyst for achieving relevant priorities in the five-year strategic vision of The Church of Pentecost (Vision 2023) aimed at “possessing the nations” by transforming society with Kingdom principles and values.

He further noted that the Church leadership remains hopeful that, through such projects, young people in the northern part of the country would no longer migrate to the south in search of non-existing greener pastures during the dry season. 

Apostle Gyambibi, therefore, thanked the Chairman, the General Secretary (Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi) and the Executive Council for their immense contribution to the success of the project.

Explaining the rationale for the project, the Director of PENTSOS, Elder Richard Amaning, said that “a major challenge identified in the northern regions is the one farming season (May-September).”

Therefore, to enhance food security and job opportunities, PENTSOS, in partnership with the Headquarters and the Bawku Area, decided to embark on dry-season irrigation farming (mainly short-cycle vegetable production) to support members of the church to create job opportunities and sustainable income, he added.

According to him, the irrigation facility would directly support 50 smallholder farmers to cultivate vegetables like okra, onion, pepper, tomatoes, cabbage etc. and reduce their dependency on rain-fed agriculture, which is on a balance of probabilities.

Highlighting the scope of the project, the Operations Coordinator of PENTSOS, Elder Ing. Frank Adutwum stated that the project, which cost GHS 290,000.00, has three boreholes, supplying about 70,000 litres (15,400 gallons) of water for eight hours daily. Two boreholes have also been connected to solar pumps delivering about 50,000 litres of water into four installed Polytanks, while the remaining borehole operates on a generator. In addition, a drip irrigation technology has been installed on a three-acre portion of the land to ensure adequate supply of water on the farmland.

To ensure the sustainability of the system, Elder Ing. Adutwum said beneficiary farmers have been trained and facilitated to form an association with established modalities to contribute to the maintenance of the irrigation scheme. Also, PENTSOS is working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Bawku West District, to provide agronomic services to farmers. 

Mr. Abass Imoro, Deputy Coordinator Director at the Bawku West Assembly, on his part, said that the intervention is in line with the One-Village-One-Dam (1V1D) policy introduced by the government of Ghana to support irrigation farming and called on other faith-based organisations to emulate the gesture of The Church of Pentecost. 

The Chief of Tanga, Naaba Sampson Ayaba Ayuubo, in his remarks, thanked the church for the project, describing it as “more than gold or silver.” He also called on the entire community to take full advantage of the facility to ensure its success.

Among other dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony were Pastor Joel Essel Donkoh (Bawku Area Secretary), Pastor Sampson Boakye (Tanga District Minister and Chairman of the Project Steering Committee), Elder Kwame Frimpong (Health Coordinator, PENTSOS), a cross-section of the pastorate and their wives, Bawku Area Executive Committee members, beneficiary farmers and members of the community.

The farmers expressed sincere gratitude to God and The Church of Pentecost for bringing them tangible hope. The farmers harvested some okra planted on the drip system during the event.


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