The Government of Ghana has secured an agricultural mechanization facility worth Two Hundred and Fifty Million Dollar from three foreign partners to improve mechanized agriculture under the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon.Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has revealed.
The equipment were secured from India, Czech Republic and Brazil Governments as part of moves to support large and smallholder farmers in the country.
The Minister stated this when he formally launched a Multipurpose Agro Processing factory under the One District One Factory initiative at Jasikan in the Volta Region.
Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto noted that the machineries will range from basic handheld tools for smallholder farmers to big tractors for large scale farming.
He however pointed out that larger part of the consignment, which is expected to arrive early next year, will be basic affordable tools which will be within the reach of the average farmer.
According to him, the equipment will include simple harvesters and planters as well as other handheld tools which will help improve efficiency in farming operations.
"The objective is to ensure that as many farmers as possible have access to these tools and are able to afford them for their activities " He stressed.
The Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Archibald Yao Letsa, also urged people of Jasikan and the Oti enclave to take advantage of the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme in order to ensure the sustainability of the One District One Factory initiative.
According to him, before any factory can survive there should be a regular and sustainable supply of raw materials.
Hon. Yao Letsa therefore observed that it is for this reason that the Planting for Food and Jobs programme was necessary since it is the only way investors can be assured of sustainable supply of raw materials.
The Volta Regional Minister was speaking at the official launch of the Multipurpose Agro Processing factory under the One District One Factory initiative at Jasikan.
"We have seen that a number of factories which were set up in the past could not survive because of lack of raw materials. We don't want this fate to befall this laudable project. That is why I am appealing to you to participate in the programme " He said
He indicated that the PFJ was very dear to the heart of the President, stressing that the Volta Region has recorded one of the highest figures in the participation of the programme.
The MultipurposeAgro Processing factory is being constructed by Edge Agro Industries and Farms with funding from both local and international partners.
The 50m US Dollar project, upon completion, will process cocoa, coffee, shea nuts, soybean and other food crops.
It will involve a multicomplex facility with training schools, clinic, tourists attraction amongst others.