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04.04.2006 General News

Agric ministry gives tractors to 70 Districts


Accra, April 4, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Tuesday began the distribution of 210 tractors and matching implements imported from India, to farmers in 70 Districts. Each district was allocated three tractors. One costs 160 million cedis.

Mr Joseph Kwasi Boamah, Director of Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate, told the Ghana News Agency that 38 selected Districts in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Volta Regions were now taking delivery of their allocation. He said an agreement had been made with the District Assemblies to make an initial down payment of 16.8 billion cedis from the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) to cover 50 per cent of the total cost of the tractors.

He said the District Assemblies had further agreed to pay in bulk the additional 16.8 billion cedis in the 2007 fiscal year from the DACF. Mr Boamah said individual farmers would be expected to pay 80 million cedis as down payment for one tractor with a 5-ton tipping trailer, a three-disc plough and a 13-disc offset harrow. The farmers are required to pay the remainder of the cost over a three-year period without interest.

He said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural development and the DACF Secretariat in Accra were doing the allocation. Mr Boamah said the District Assemblies were tasked to identify large-scale farmers cultivating between 20 hectares to 40 hectares who would use the tractors exclusively for farmland preparations and other agricultural activities.

He said farmers from three districts in Greater Accra, six from Eastern, five from Ashanti, 12 from Brong Ahafo and six from the Central Region were the among beneficiaries.