President John Dramani Mahama has cut sod for the construction of an irrigation dam which is expected to create over 5,000 jobs when completed.

Speaking on Monday in the Garu-Tempane District at the beginning of a two-day visit to the region, President Mahama said the dam is also expected to irrigate 3,250 acres of land, giving relief to farmers.

“This irrigation dam will allow us to create more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. The land would be apportioned to farmers. They would be assisted. We are going to set up a farmer service centre. All the farmers who are working on the project will be registered. They would be provided with fertilisers. They would be provided with seeds. They would get agric extension advice. Their lands would be ploughed for them. It would be harrowed. They would use planters to plant the seeds.

“They would get the most modern agricultural technologies to execute their work. The farmer service centre will be the heartbeat of all farmers in the area. So, if you need tractor services, ploughing, you will go and register, they will send the tractor to plough for you. The farmer service centre would even be a microfinance centre. So, if your wife gives birth and you need 100 Ghana cedis or 50 Ghana cedis to go and look after her, if you go to the farmer service centre, they would give it to you,” the president added.

The president also emphasised that the irrigation dam project would transform agriculture in the eastern part of the Upper East Region.“It’s going to revolutionise agriculture in this area. And we are building fifty of those farmer service centres across the whole of the Savannah Zone. So, it’s not only Bawku. It’s going to be different locations where we would assist farmers. We want the Green Revolution to start now. I have told the Ministry of Food and Agriculture that before the end of this year I want to launch the first farmer service site. They must complete it and I will launch it before the end of this year,” Mahama said.