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Ghana gets $5.1m Agricultural Grant from Japan

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The Japanese Government has extended agricultural machinery worth $5.1 million to Ghana under the grant assistance for underprivileged farmers to increase food production.

The machinery is comprised of 125 agricultural tractors with matching implements, 10 rice mills, 35 rice threshing machines, 35 rice reapers, two
combine harvesters and 40 irrigation pumps.

A statement issued in Accra on Monday said the machinery would be sold to farmers by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) at subsidised prices.

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Agriculture, receiving the machinery said; “Government’s expectation to meet agricultural annual average growth rate of a minimum of six per cent envisaged under the vision 2015 programme from the current rate of 5.5 per cent will not only call for the intensification of production methods, but the modernisation of agriculture.”

He expressed appreciation to the Japanese Government for the assistance, and called for continuous cooperation of local agents and Japanese manufacturers to ensure the efficient use of the machinery for improved output performance, while conserving soil and moisture.

Mr Hisanobu Mochizuki, Acting Ambassador of Japan, presenting the machinery, said the Japanese Government decided to provide assistance to the Ghanaian rice sector, which was heavily dependent on imports and needed urgent attention for modernisation.

He said: “Japan is a large rice consuming country and for a long time, has developed techniques and equipment for the modernisation of rice production. Japan is assisting Ghana to modernise her rice production processes.”

“I believe that, through this assistance, there will be more machinery readily accessible and affordable to farmers, and farmer-based organisations will be strengthened to obtain higher leverage in the agricultural sector, he added.

Mr Koichi Kito, Deputy Resident Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said “Empowering small-scale farmers, is significantly important to achieving inclusive and equitable development of Ghana.”

JICA organised a training programme to update the technical skills of MOFA engineers on heavy agricultural equipment by Japanese manufacturers in March, 2011.

Source: GNA

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