Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Tuesday reiterated Government’s commitment to promoting mechanized farming to increase food production on relatively small-size land.
He said the days of using hoe and cutlass for farming should give way to modern methods of farming.
Vice President Mahama was speaking at a durbar as part of an inspection tour of Kobbiman Farms Limited, producers of Butternut Squash for export, at Asekye in the Nkoranza North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.
He said Government in its effort to promote technological and mechanized system of farming, had so far distributed 400 tractors and equipment on credit to farmers in the country.
The Butternut Squash Farm cover 15-acre land cultivated as one of four trial-farms under the auspices of the Ghana Export Development Fund (EDIF).
The three other trial-farms were sited at Somanya in the Eastern Region and Ojobi, near Budumburam in the Central Region.
Vice President Mahama said Government was prepared to work with farmers to increase food production adding that the country had been enjoying stable food prices despite the rise in cost of food items globally.
He said this was due to effective measures Government had put in place within the last two years and commended the owner, management and workers of the farm.
Vice President Mahama called on the owner of the farm to expand his operations to create more jobs for the youth.
He appealed to the youth to go into farming because “it is lucrative and economically rewarding”, and not to rely on white-colour jobs.
The Vice President promised that Government would construct a Pack-House in the area to serve as a centre for packaging agricultural produce for export.
The Vice President paid a courtesy call on Okatakyie Agyemang Kudom IV, Paramount Chief of Nkoranza Traditional Area, before proceeding to Techiman where he inaugurated a newly-constructed GH¢75, 000.00 meat shop at the Techiman Municipal Market.
He also visited Ghana Nuts Limited, an agro-processing company in Techiman to address a durbar of management and workers after Mr. Prince Obeng Asante, Managing Director had briefed him on the company’s operations.
Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, said the area had adequate land for farming, industrialisation and other investment purposes, and appealed to investors to invest in the area.
He also said the Region was peaceful with reliable sources of water and electricity that could support economic activities adding that it was the only area in the country that every type of crop could be cultivated.
Mr. Adjabeng Antwi-Agyei, Chief Executive Officer of the Farms, said the company was established in 2000 to produce crops for exports.
He said since its inception the Farms had supported farmers to cultivate 12,000 acres of land and said the coverage would be increased to 20,000 acres.
Oheneba Adjei Baffo, the Ankobiahene of the Nkoranza Traditional Area, owner and Chief Executive Officer of Kobbiman Farms, told GNA that the Farms was into mango cultivation and that since production began in February this year, it has exported a large quantity of mangoes.
He said he had employed 25 permanent workers and about 60 temporary workers and that since January this year he had invested about GH¢100, 000.00, two-thirds of which were provided by EDIF as a short-term loan whilst the rest were provided by Banks.
Mr. Kwame Nyamekye-Boamah, Consultant for Kobbiman Farms Limited told GNA that Butternut Squash, a creeping plant like water-melon thrived in a temperature condition of between 15-32 degrees Celsius under at least three millimetre constant amount of rain.