Ghana’s quest to reduce the importation of rice by increasing local production has received a major boost, following the purchase of 520 specialised rice tractors by government for onward distribution to rice farmers in the country.
The tractors, comprising 220 Cabrio Compat tractors and 300 Global Multipurpose mini tractors, were made in the Czech Republic and procured by government with a €10million interest-free facility from the Czech Export Bank, arranged by Knights A.S. of the Czech Republic for the government of Ghana.
An agreement to that effect was signed in April 2018, when a delegation from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture led by Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr. Akoto Afriyie, visited the Czech Republic.
The Cabrio Compact Tractor and Global Multipurpose Mini Tractor are designed and conditioned to help triple rice production by allowing rice farmers to harvest and thresh their ripened rice on the field. They also adapt to wet and muddy areas of rice fields.
Throwing more light on the tractors, he said: “Most of tractors are of higher horsepower, expensive and useful only for large-scale farmers. The farmers from these developing countries, however, are of small or medium scale and cannot afford such large-energy tractors.
“There was therefore a need to solve this problem by importing into these countries Cabrio Compact Tractors and Global Mini Tractors, which are simple, effective and affordable – and can help alleviate ordeals small or medium scale farmers go through in their daily farming activities/operations,” Mr. Deyang said.
He added that village infrastructure projects and agricultural mechanisation can only succeed in developing countries “when peasant farmers are introduced to smaller machinery rather than nurtured to handle bigger machinery”.
“With these tractors, which are easier to maintain and service, a gradual transformation and nurturing of machine maintenance culture will be created as an introductory stage for larger machinery and extensive agricultural mechanization,” Mr. Deyang said.