Rice farmers in Kadjebi in the Oti region are to benefit from a relief package in acquisition of agricultural machinery.
The package involves an initial half payment of the total cost of agricultural machinery including tractors and power tillers that they will use in rice production.
Each of these machines cost between GH¢24, 000 and GH¢31, 000.
The relief package was announced by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto yesterday, when he paid a working visit to rice farms in Kadjebi and interacted with the farmers.
The Minister made the offer following an appeal made by the rice farmers to the Ministry for the machinery on credit.
In addition to the half payment, the Minister asked the rice farmers to write a letter through the Kadjebi District Director of Agriculture for the machines to be given to them on credit.
The visit formed part of the minister’s phase two agricultural tour of farms in the Oti Region.
On the matter of fertiliser shortage, Dr Afriyie Akoto attributed the problem to the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining that most of the fertiliser producing factories had shut down due to COVID-19 which had affected the global market for fertiliser, adding that “available fertilisers will not be given out on credit but will be on cash and carry system.”
From the Kajebi rice farms, he went to the Volta Red Oil Palm Processing Mill also in Kadjebi where he inspected the process of milling palm oil.
The Director of Volta Red Oil Palm Processing Mill, Nicholas Kwame Foto, highlighted on some of the challenges bedeviling his company.
Among these challenges, he said, included intermittent power outages, a challenge he pleaded with government to help remedy.
The Minister also paid a courtesy call on Chief of Dambai, Nana Kwaku Biano II, together and his elders.
The Agric Minister was accompanied by the Oti Regional Minister.
In the course of the meeting, the elders of Dambai laid some issues affecting agriculture in the region.
They included machines to help assist in crop harvest, especially harvesting of yams in large quantities in the region.
“We are also pleading with the District Director of Agriculture to organise a forum to help educate the youth in the region to let them know new techniques that could be adopted to help improve the agricultural yields in the region,” they appealed.
Early on Sunday, Dr Akoto visited the Global Agricultural Development Company (GADCO), a major rice producing company in Sogakope, INVITRO Labs Free Zone Company, a Dutch company, also in Sogakope, and inspected a tissue culture facility and nursery.
By Times Reporter