Business News of 2014-01-24

Ministry seeks $95m for agric machinery

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is sourcing a loan of $95 million from Brazil to purchase agricultural machinery.

This initiative is to help increase food production and beef up Agricultural Mechanisation Service Enterprise Centres (AMSEC)

Services by ensuring that every district has at least one service centre.

Message From MoFA

The of Engineering Services for MoFA, Mr George Akyena Brantuo said this in his address at the Young Farmers League Co-operative Society’s (YFLCS) advocacy seminar in Accra last Thursday.

The seminar was part of attempts to get the government’s attention to establish tractor service schemes for farmer groups.

“The money will be used to purchase tractors for effective land preparation; planters for precision planting; boom sprayers and pumps for proper crop maintenance; and combine harvesters for effective harvesting,” he said.

YFLCS concerns

The president for YFLCS, Mr Jacob Doe Adzikah said that the seminar was aimed at getting the government’s attention through the MoFA to establish tractor service schemes for farmer groups like theirs.

He said that the seminar was also to advocate the establishment of AMSEC in the Osu-Doku and Akuapem North Districts where most of their members had their farms.

“Most of our farmers cannot cultivate large acreages because of limited access to tractor services. This is affecting their profits,” he added.

The YFLCS, he said had a capacity of 28,000 members in 28 districts.

YFLCS Research Findings

A research conducted by a consultant on behalf of YFLCS reported among others that the member farmers were only able to cultivate one acre due to lack of tractor and other machinery support services.

The research also showed that most young prospective large scale farmers were abandoning their farms for similar reasons which makes farming an unattractive venture.

Recommendations

The research report recommended that considering the fact that their number was large, the government through the district assemblies should facilitate the development of tractor service schemes for them.