Japan is to provide credit facilities to Ghanaian peasant farmers to procure machines for processing and value addition of their produce.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Tsutomu Himeno, who made this known, said the arrangement was to enable Ghanaian peasant farmers to add value to their produce to earn more income. The programme would be anchored on the government's Planting for Food and Jobs, which seeks to increase production and improve the livelihoods of farmers.
Mr. Tsutomu made this promise when he paid a courtesy on the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, at his office in Accra last Wednesday.
The visit was to explore areas of deepening the bilateral relations between Ghana and Japan. It also coincided with the visit of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Japan for the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
Areas of collaboration
Mr. Tsutomu said support for the agriculture sector was a key component of Japan's support to countries. He said Japan supported projects based on the needs of beneficiary countries and indicated the focus of the agriculture support for Ghana would be on increasing rice production.
Besides, Mr. Tsutomu said Japan would be expanding cooperation with Ghana in the health sector to prevent the spread of diseases since it was easier to stay healthy than to fall seek and go for treatment. He said Japan would also be providing technical and vocational training to Ghanaians to build their skills to increase productivity.
The ambassador said more Japanese investors were interested in coming to invest in Ghana in the areas of automobile, medical and nutrition products, energy, oil, and natural gas exploration and electricity generation. He said Japan cherished its relations with Ghana and was committed to deepening the ties for mutual benefits.
In his remarks, Mr. Annoh-Dompreh, who is also the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, said peasant farmers produced a lot of staples but they lacked storage facilities to preserve the produce or any equipment to process the produce.
Therefore, he said, the decision of the government of Japan to provide credit facilities to peasant farmers was good news as it would add value to Ghana's produce and improve the financial wellbeing of peasant farmers.
Mr. Annoh-Dompreh said the move was part of the country's industrialisation drive being pushed by President Akufo-Addo to move Ghana beyond aid. "The bottom line is poverty reduction. Peasant farmers to have machinery for value addition and processing," he said.
Mr. Annoh-Dompreh said the arrangement by Japan to use its model of vocational and technical education to train Ghanaians was important as it would create the skilled manpower needed to support the country's development drive.
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