The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has commissioned farm processing machines worth $95 million in a bid to boost the efficiency of large-scale farming in the country.
The over 2,000 pieces of machines were procured by the Ministry through the Brazilian government to help lessen post-harvest losses of farmers.
Large-scale farmers in the country have over the years lost their produce due to several factors, some of which include poor handling and inadequate facilities.
The machines which will be acquired by farmers are expected to reduce further losses and ensure larger proceeds are made to further increase the contribution of the agricultural sector to the country’s GDP.
The machinery acquired by the Agricultural Ministry includes; Tractors, Power Tillers, Heavy Duty Combine Harvesters, High Horse-Power Tractors, Post Harvest Equipment, Tractor Attached Implements, Tractor Trailers, Tractor Mounted Planting or Sowing Equipment, and Chemical Applicators, among others.
Addressing the media at the launch of the machines, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto indicated that the equipment were to serve the Fifth Module of the Planting for Food and Jobs thus, the Agricultural Mechanization Services.
“The Brazilian government loaned Ghana something about 96 million US dollars in three tranches. This is the last tranche, and it is worth 30 million dollars. The composition of the machinery this time around is different. There’s more emphasis on harvest, post-harvest and value addition” he said.
He further added that, “We take into consideration what the farmers need and order them to help in the transformation agenda this current government is seeking to bring to the Agricultural sector.”
“We have selected six crops: oil palm, coconut, shea, rubber, cashew and mango to develop in the next 8 years to earn us as much as cocoa is earning Ghana in the global market,” he said.
Also speaking at the program, the Head of the Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate, Mr. Amatus K. B. Deyang, indicated that the prices of the machines were subsidized by 40 percent to enable farmers to purchase them.
“It is difficult for farmers who farm very large farmlands to use manual labour. That is why we are encouraging every farmer to acquire a piece of the machinery. It has been subsidized by 40% to enable local farmers to purchase them,” he said.
The 2021 National Best Farmer, Alhaji Mashiru Mohammed, indicated his support for the agricultural sector and urged the youth to venture into farming.
“I want to encourage others, especially the youth to see that investing in agriculture machinery is not a waste because I started farming with one machine in 2017, but now I have more than 25 machines which have enabled me to work with over 20,000 farmers in the northern region,” he said.