India injects US$150m to boost agricultural mechanisation project in Ghana

GHANA – Ghana has received US$150 million for India to boost the Strengthening of Agriculture Mechanisation Service Centres (AMSECs) Project that seeks to modernise the agricultural sector in the country.

According to the minister of finance in Ghana, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the long term financing agreement between the two countries will improve availability and timely access to affordable agricultural machinery and equipment under the AMSECs project.

In addition to increasing agricultural productivity, the AMSECs Project is expected to provide mechanised services to the resource constrained households who crop less than two hectares in a bid to improve their livelihoods.

About 90% of farm holdings in Ghana are less than two hectares, a report on the Second Food and Agriculture Development Policy reveals.

According to Mr Atta, this will gradually catalyse growth in the sector allowing small holder farmers to scale up production and subsequently commercialising their operations.

The project will support the establishment of cottage industries/small factories for processing of rice, maize and cassava and boost the governments Planting for Food and Jobs Policy, reports Ghana News Agency.

AMSECs will also support cottage machine shops for fabricating small farm tools and equipment as part of the Government’s policy initiative of One District, One Factory for job creation.

Over the last years, India has supported similar projects which has seen the country establish 76 agriculture mechanisation centres across major districts in the country.

Additionally, Brazilian More Food International Programme has also seen the country establish an additional 79 AMSECs in the past three years raising the total operational mechanisation centres to more than 140.

According to Mr Ofori-Atta said, the US$150 million agreement represents the largest concessional loan for the agriculture sector across the continent.

India through the Exim Bank has also unveiled additional US$30 million loan facility to support the Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Potable Water Systems in the country.

“Government is working towards ensuring that by the year 2030 all people living in Ghana would have access to potable water.

Consequently providing potable water to more than 133,000 people in the Yendi Municipality is a significant step towards achieving this goal,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

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