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27.10.2005 General News

Agriculture Minister inspects new tractors

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Accra, Oct. 27, GNA - The second consignment of 400 tractors with accessories, out of a total of 1,000 being expected to help in the modernisation of agriculture, has arrived.

Consequently, Mr Ernest A. Debrah, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), on Thursday took media personnel to a Tema-based firm, Foundries and Agriculture Machinery Ghana Limited, local agent of Escort India Limited, producers of the tractors, to inspect the tractors. Engineers of the Agriculture Engineering Services Directorate of MOFA with the assistance of experts from the Indian company are assembling the medium-sized tractors that arrived in semi-knocked-down state to cut down cost.

Mr Debrah said 200 tractors were received last year and sold to farmers at 160 million cedis each. They were acquired on high purchase terms of 50 per cent down payment with the remainder spread over a three-year period with no interest.

He said five each of the tractors would be allocated to mechanised centres to be created at Nkoranza, Tamale, Navrongo, Wenchi, Techiman, Ejura, Kasoa, Donkorkrom, Ho and Amasaman to enable farmers to hire them.

The Minister explained that the mechanised centres, which would also rent other farming equipment, would be manned mainly by the private sector with assistance from the Government to ensure an effective and efficient operation.

According to Mr Debrah, 20 service centres would be set up all over the country to service the tractors.

Mr Shewak Ram, Chairman of the local agent, who took the Minister round said enough spare parts had been shipped to facilitate the maintenance of the tractors.

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