The Japanese Government has handed over agricultural machinery worth GH¢ 6.4 million to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana to be given to underprivileged farmers to increase food production. The machinery, which was donated yesterday, is to be distributed among farmers on hire purchase, to boost rice production and make the country less dependent on rice importation.
Mr Naoto Nikai, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana said the agricultural machinery procured under the Japanese Government grant assistance, is to help revamp the rice sector in the country as well as build solid relations between the two countries. The machinery comprises of 70 agricultural tractors, with matching implements, 43 power tillers, 35 rice threshers, 20 rice reapers and five rice mills. Mr Naoto said this would support Ghana’s government effort to achieve poverty reduction and accelerate growth through modernization of agriculture. These equipments at the hands of farmer would ensure greater rice production and increase the role of organisations involved in the distribution process.
Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture thanked the Japanese government for the grant assistance. He said the equipment would enhance the agricultural transformation agenda of farmers. Moreover the agricultural machinery would make it possible for small holder farmers to achieve timely field cultivation, high level of field bed preparation, planting and harvesting which are important in rice production. He explained further that the grant assistance facility extended to Ghana by the Japan government was important since it would allow tractor owners and operators realised how economical it was to use such machines on a small and large land capacities. He, however, urged the local agents of the machines to render satisfactory after sales services on the machines throughout the target regions and appealed to beneficiaries to honour their installment payments on time.
Mr Humado said the Ministry would ensure that the necessary inputs required for the high production levels were provided to these farmers, in order to make smallholder rice production profitable.