Training for tractor operators, farm managers underway at Adidome

The Acting Director of Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Patrick Ohene Aboagye, says farming has the potential to boost economic development, reduce poverty and ensure food security for the country.

He has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to channel more resources into its development and operate it as a business to reap benefits for the nation.

Mr Abooagye said this here on Friday at the closing of a five-day training programme for 45 tractor operators and six farm managers.

The MOFA in collaboration with the government of Japan (Japan International Cooperation Agency) are organising the training, aimed at teaching the participants the proper way to effectively manage agricultural machinery for enhanced agriculture productivity in the country.

In all 1,000 participants are to be trained over a period of two years at both the Adidome and Wenchi Farm institutes where agricultural mechanisation training centres have been established as part of the programme.

Mr Aboagye said the focus of government was to improve crop farming through mechanisation, irrigation, fertiliser use and improved seed inputs.

To this end, he said government had secured funding of $95 million to import agriculture machinery from Brazil under the More Food International programme, adding that, the first tranche of $32 million had been drawn to import 541 tractors to serve 3000 farmers.

Mr Aboagye said government would subsidise 50 to 60 per cent of the cost while the farmers pay for the remainder to help deal with the problems of high cost of machinery, poor after sales service by suppliers, knowhow and availability of spare parts as experienced in the past.

The project Coordinator, Eugene M. Abio, said so far 102 people had benefited from the free training since January, with Adidome Farm Institute accounting for participants in the southern sector while Wenchi takes care of those from the Northern sector.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah, Adidome

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