The Government's efforts at transforming the face of the country's agriculture through mechanization has received a major boost with the inauguration by President John Agyekum Kufuor of a tractor assembling plant and technology transfer centre in Kumasi.
It is a partnership between the Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mahindra and Mahindra of India, reputed to be one of the topmost tractor manufacturing companies in the world, and the Garages Association of Ghana.
The Plant would have 70 per cent of the tractor parts assembled locally, with just 30 per cent imported from India.
It is expected to initially provide jobs for more than 200 including, welders, steel benders, auto mechanics and apprentices from various garages across the country, and this President Kufuor noted would undoubtedly help to enhance technology transfer to the youth to move the economy forward.
Mechanization of agriculture from land preparation through planting, crop maintenance to harvesting, processing and storage is crucial to achieving the country's goal of producing enough for food self-sufficiency and for export.
It was for this reason that the Government has brought in about 3,000 agricultural tractors with matching accessories and varied equipment for processing and storage.
Mr Anand G. Mahindra, President of the Indian Company, said they were poised to deliver on the goal of making the project a success by producing quality and competitively priced tractors to aid Ghana's drive towards increased agriculture production.
Mrs Florence Larbi, General Manager of Zoomlion, said the Plant would serve as practical training ground and technology transfer centre for students from the nation's universities, polytechnics and technical institutions, majoring in metal fabrication and mechanical engineering.
Professor Frimpong Boateng, Head of the Cardio-therapy Centre of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, who chaired the function, observed that no country ever developed without acquiring the capacity to make machines, adding that the “poverty gap is a technology gap.”
He therefore encouraged the Zoomlion to work closely with other organizations such as SMIDO so that engineering, especially fabrication, manufacturing and machine tooling would gain root not only in Kumasi but the entire nation.