‘Agric Mechanisation Module Making Impact’

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

The Agriculture Mechanisation Services (AMSECs) module of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative is helping in the transformation of the agriculture sector in the country, the Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has said.

According to him, the government is making plans to increase the thirty-two (32) mechanisation centres set up in the 32 District Assemblies across the country to better support the sector.

The NPP administration in 2019 set up the mechanisation centres with an initial importation of 260 tractors and other farm machinery from Brazil.

“So far, the District Assemblies where these mechanisation centres have performed well with the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) module of the P&J in terms of the number of seedlings they have produced,” the minister said on Friday, October 8, 2021 when he paid a working visit to farmers under the PFJ on their maize farms in Gomoa West in the Central Region.

In addition to the mechanisation centres, Dr. Afriyie Akoto said his ministry supplied machinery to commercial farmers and the private sector at a discounted rate of 40%.

“That was an Akufo-Addo decision in Cabinet that farmers’ machinery imported into the country should attract a subsidy of 40% in order to support the farming industry,” he disclosed, adding “before the year ends, we are expecting another batch from Brazil and we will continue to expand the numbers in the commercial area.”

He lauded the Gomoa farmers for this hard work, saying “we are going to look at their books, see the extent of services they provided to our farmers and then based on that we will then decide on individual basis the extent to which we are going to expand these facilities. They have only two tractors and from what they are saying they will need more to expand their activities.”

Earlier, the minister paid a courtesy call on the Oguamanhene, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, where he informed him that President Akufo-Addo would be celebrating this year’s Farmers’ Day in Cape Coast.

From the chief’s palace, the minister visited Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GNPSP) at Ekumfi where he interacted with about 121 coconut farmers.

The farmers seized the chance to appeal to the minister to support them with more cutlasses, safety boots among other farming tools.