Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has received the last batch of consignment of agricultural machinery from the Brazilian government to help improve the agriculture sector.
The equipment forms part of loan agreement from the Brazilian Government at estimated amount of $96m to support government’s flagship programme- Planting for Food and Job (PFJ).
The agriculture implements include heavy combine harvester (wheeled), high horsepower tractors, tractor attached implements, tractor trailer (haulage), tractor mounted planting/ sowing equipment, chemical applicator and post-harvest equipment/crop processing, cereal sheller, rice cutter, power tillers, maize threshers.
Dr Akoto, the sector minister, after a tour to inspect the machinery in Accra explained the agreement with Brazilian Government.
“We are taking the last consignment of machinery from the Brazilian government under the More Food Programme, under which the Brazilian government loaned government of Ghana$96m in three tranches. What you see here this morning is the last tranche of the third tranche of the facility worth 30 million USD.”Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto
The Agric Minister further explained that the consignment is essential as it would help improve harvesting, post harvesting and value addition.
“It will also help the country achieve the goals of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative which is hinged on the five modules namely food security, tree crop to diversify out of cocoa, greenhouse village, livestock and farm machinery modules.”Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Machineries Attract Subsidies
Dr Akoto disclosed that the machinery attracted a subsidy of 40 per cent to support farming industry, noting that the decision was made under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government.
The sector minister indicated that MoFA would take note of the delivery of services they provide to the farmers to determine the degree to which they would expand the facilities.
Dr Akoto stated that the NPP government of President Kufuor started building Agricultural Mechanisation Centres around the country, and by the time he left office in 2008, the country had 78 of such centres.
Upon the assumption of office of President Akufo-Addo, the Agric Minister stated that “given the recognition of the importance of agriculture as a means of transforming the economy of this country, we chose the strategy that we are going to focus on small holdings”.
The minister averred that the policy is working and reflecting in improved output, improved productivity, and abundance of food.
“This year, we are expecting a huge bumper crop around the country and our exports to our neighbouring countries are going to keep on climbing.”Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Dr. Akoto further noted that sustaining this growth would require mechanising “critical areas of the small holders activity”.
This Minister of Food and Agriculture was in the company of the National Best Farmer for 2021, Mr Mashud Mohammed. The National Best Farmer, on his part, encouraged young farmers to invest in their work, especially agricultural machinery.