President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government has procured $29.9 million worth of machinery and equipment to boost agriculture mechanisation in Ghana.
The machinery and equipment, which were imported from Brazil, will be utilised to improve the development of agricultural land, planting, harvesting, and primary processing to boost productivity, add more jobs, and make agriculture lucrative, particularly for young people.
President Akufo-Addo announced the procurement of the agricultural tools when he delivered a message on the State of the Nation to Parliament in Accra Wednesday, in fulfilment of article 67 of the Constitution.
He said the government would this year, start preparatory works for the establishment of a Tractor and Backhoe Loader Assembly factory in the Ashanti Region and continuous capacity building of operators to ensure optimal management and lengthen the lifespan of agricultural machinery.
President Akufo-Addo said the government had constructed 65 warehouses, with 15 others at advanced stages of completion, to help address the vexed issue of post-harvest losses.
“This intervention is adding some eighty thousand metric tonnes (80,000mt) to national grain storage capacity,” he remarked.
He said the Government had invested in both large and small-scale irrigation infrastructure across the country and adopted appropriate technologies and other innovative practices for sustainable agriculture and resilience against food insecurity.
The move, the President noted, was to also support efforts to mitigate against the impact of climate change and variability on agriculture.
“In 2022, government completed the rehabilitation and modernisation of large-scale irrigation schemes at Tono, Kpong and Kpong Left Bank projects. The three schemes are expected to provide 6,766 hectares of irrigable land for all-year-round crop production. Phases I and II of the Tamne Irrigation Project have also been completed, with Phase III of the project at 57 percent completion,” he said.
The government established a five-member ad hoc Cabinet Committee in 2022 to work on a programme to promote domestic production and export development as a way to lower Ghana’s import bill, which was $13.7 billion in 2021.
The policy would be implemented to reduce the country’s import bill in the short, medium, and long-term, enhance domestic productive capacity in selected products, generate widespread employment opportunities, and diversify and expand export capacity under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Meanwhile, a list of 20 priority products in the categories of primary agricultural products, processed foods, and manufactured goods, where we can confidently enhance domestic production, the President said.
The products include rice, fish, poultry, fruit juice, sugar, tomatoes, vegetable oils, oil palm, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents, insulated wire, ceramic products, corrugated paper and paper board, cement/clinker, and motor vehicles.
“The report on the implementation modalities to enhance domestic productive capacity in these products has been prepared and once confirmed, the new Minister for Trade & Industry will roll out urgently a series of initiatives to implement the policy.” President Akufo-Addo said.