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General News of Friday, 24 July 2020

Source: GNA

Government concludes processes to purchase livestock and poultry species

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta

Government has concluded the procurement processes for the purchase of 531,100 improved breeds of livestock and poultry species including sheep, goats, pigs, cockerels and guinea fowls, and related products.

The delivery of the livestock and the related products are expected to be effected before the end of December 2020.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, who announced this at the mid-year budget review in Parliament on Thursday said, a total of 30,000 cockerels were distributed to 3,000 farmers in 12 selected regions in 2019 for crossing with local hens to improve the live weight from 1.2kg to 1.5kg and egg laying rate from 70 to 110 eggs per year. A total of 7,500 small ruminants were also distributed to 750 farmers in six selected regions.

He said a total of 15 million seedlings of cashew; coffee, coconut, and oil palm were distributed to farmers. Parliament also passed the Tree Crop Development Bill, fashioned along the lines of COCOBOD, into law.

On Greenhouse Capacity Development Module, he said government had established three greenhouse training centres with commercial components, each on a five-hectare piece of land, at Dawhenya, Akumadan, and Bawjiase.

He said at the end of December 2019, the three centres had, together; trained 296 graduates in greenhouse vegetable production and a total of 180 graduates were targeted for training in 2020, of which 61 had been trained as of end-June 2020.

“The remaining 119 graduates are scheduled to receive their training during the second half of the year,” he said.

In the area of Mechanisation, 6,270 units of agricultural machinery and equipment were supplied to mechanisation service providers, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies, and farmer-based organisations to improve access to mechanisation services.

The Minister said this had reduced drudgery in farming and has improved efficiency in operational activities of farmers to enhance productivity.

He said government, under a Czech Republic Credit facility, took delivery of farm equipment worth €10,000,000.

These include 300 global multi-purpose mini-tractors with various accessories, and 220 Cabrio compact tractors with accessories such as rice reapers, rice threshers, and chemical applicators.

He said this equipment was for sale to small and medium-scale farmers across the country at 40 percent subsidy.

In addition, government took delivery of 1,000 rice harvesters (rice cutters) and 700 multifunctional threshers from China for distribution to rice farmers at 20 per cent subsidy.

These measures are to improve farmers' timely access to mechanised services and enhance productivity.

He said in the second half of the year, Government would conclude arrangements for the importation of about US$31 million worth of farm machinery and equipment, including hand-held equipment, tractors, combines harvesters, and rice mills, under the third tranche of the Brazil "More Food International Programme".

In the area of irrigation development, a total of 7,141 hectares of land were being developed for various irrigation systems.

These include Tamne phases I and II, Mprumem phases I and II, rehabilitation and expansion of existing schemes at Tono, Kpong Irrigation Schemes, and Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Project.

In addition, Government had invested in numerous small earth dams in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, and the Savannah Regions to provide farmers with easy access to water.

He said as at June 2020, 11 out of 14 programmed small earth dams had been completed, an estimated irrigable area of 224 hectares would be developed in the next phase of construction.

Mr Ofori-Atta said in the second half of the year, government would complete the resettlement of people in Tamne and Mprumem to pave way for completion of these projects.

The Tono and Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Projects will be completed by December 2020 with the remaining three small earth dams, which are expected to irrigate over 80 hectares of crop lands, will also be constructed at the Dawhenya Greenhouse Village, Kaniago, and Ohawu Agricultural College.

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