2, 432 farming equipment has been commissioned by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto at a subsidized price to help improve agricultural production in Ghana.
The farm machinery procured through a financial arrangement between the government of Ghana and the Brazilian government were the last consignment of a 96 million dollars loan facility provided to support the Government flagship programme ‘planting for food and jobs (PFJ)’
The Minister at the commissioning of the machinery at the Agric engineering services Directorate yesterday in Accra said, a third tranche of the facility worth 30 million dollars was used to procure the machinery to augment Ghana’s’ food programme agenda to support farmers to enable them to go into large scale farming.
He said “What you see here is the last tranche of the 3rd tranche e of the facility worth 30 million dollars. The composition of the machinery this time round is slightly different, there is more emphasis on post-harvest, harvest and value addition”
The equipment include, heavy duty combines, harvesters, High horse power tractors, chemical applicator, tractor attached implements, and tractor mounted sowing equipment, Trailer, power tiller, among others.
According to the Minister, the procurement of the equipment was based on some needs assessment of the farmers and the challenges facing them in acquiring farm implements which were expensive to purchase as government makes effort to improve food sufficiency across the country.
He stated that the only criteria for one to acquire the equipment were transparent, devoid of any difficulty apart from the 60 percent payment to be made.
“It’s a very opened system of application, the government of Ghana has already advertised and encouraged farm applications on the farms to give 40 percent discount so for instance, if this machinery cost hundred dollars, it says sell it to farmers at 60 dollars. It shows how generous this government has been to agriculture”.
The Minister mentioned that apart from the direct benefit to farmers, the machinery would also support agricultural mechanization centres which were established by the Kuffour Administration that had challenges but had been revamped through the District Assemblies, farmer groups and commercial farms since the assumption of office of NPP’s government.
“The machinery would help augment one of Ghana’s flagship programme, planting for food and jobs making agriculture a transformational sector as evidenced during the heat of the COVID-19 when Ghana was been referred to as the bread basket of Africa due to the high dividends gained in the sector”.
Countries such as Niger, Mali, Nigeria resorted to Ghana to pick the surpluses as a result of planting for food and jobs”. He noted.
Dr. Akoto said other machines that were expected to be evacuated from the port also include Gari processing machinery, plantain chips making machinery among others.
He indicated that apart from complementing the PFJ programme, Ghana is expecting about 150 million EXIM bank facility to be received by the end of the year for machinery “to help add value to Ghanaian surpluses, create more jobs, wealth and transformation for Ghana’s economy”.
The 2021 national best farmer and the Gt. Accra Regional best farmers were among some of the beneficiaries of the machinery from the Ministry of Agriculture.
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