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SADA promotes butternut production in Upper West

The Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) is promoting the production and exportation of butternut in the Upper West Region.

Butternut which belongs to the pumpkin family takes 90 days to mature.

The project is being implemented on a pilot basis in two communities in the region by Plus One Investment Limited, a private organisation.

It forms part of SADA’s dry season vegetable farming project.

The communities are Mettor and Gbetuori in the Lawra and Jirapa districts respectively.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic at Mettor during the first harvesting of the vegetable for export, the project co – ordinator, Mr Dan Ahmed Saaka, said 65 farmers in three groups were involved in the implementation of the project at Mettor.

So far, he said, the pilot on 42 acres of land in the region had shown the vegetable to be adaptive to the weather.

Mr Saaka said butternut which was a hybrid, and mainly found in South Africa grew very well in areas where there was abundant water.

“Mettor was chosen because of its closeness to the Black Volta river since the vegetable needs enough water to grow well”, he added.

He advised farmers to take up the challenge and go into butternut cultivation, particularly during the dry season since it had a ready market in Europe.

Mr Saaka urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to upscale the project next season by bringing on board all districts and communities which were close to the Black Volta.

Later at a durbar of farmers and extension officers, the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, said the project has the potential to reduce poverty in the region.

He commended MOFA and Plus One Investments Limited for their technical support in making the project a reality, and expressed the commitment of the Regional Coordinating Council to ensure the success of the project.