Accra, May 15, GNA - Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Tuesday said government was working to facilitate the supply of 95 million dollars worth of agricultural machinery and equipment from Brazil.
These equipment, he said, would be supplied in three tranches, with the first tranche of 35 million dollars machinery expected in the country by the end of June 2012.
Speaking during his turn of the “Meet the Press” series in Accra, Mr Ahwoi said various rice production and processing equipment had been imported into the country under the Japanese Grant Programme.
These include 125 tractors, 10 rice mills, 40 water pumps, 35 reapers, 35 threshers and two combine harvesters.
He said five Agriculture Mechanisation Service Centres (AMSECs) were operationalised in 2011 bringing to 89, the total number of AMSECs in the country.
Mr Ahwoi disclosed that 400 boreholes had been drilled and mechanised for farmers to enable them have access to water for agricultural purposes.
He commended the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) for its ability to provide food items to flood victims in Atiwa and other areas without recourse to international food aid supply.
“NAFCO has 35 permanent staff working three shifts a day at the Nasia Rice Mills in Tamale, 55 licensed buying companies and 5,000 women par-boilers in Tamale and 150 “loading boys” engaged on monthly basis in Tamale and Kumasi.”
Mr Ahwoi lauded the Youth in Agricultural programme which was introduced as an intervention to create jobs for the youths and ensure that Ghana had food security.
The Youth in Agriculture programme has four components on farming, livestock, fisheries and agri-business.
He cited low irrigation development and management, low agriculture research, poor and inadequate rural infrastructure and low technology development in the agriculture as some of the challenges plaguing the sector in the country.