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Business News of Friday, 19 June 2020

Source: thefinderonline.com

Govt imports 520 multipurpose mini tractors for peasant farmers


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Government’s flagship agricultural programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), is set for a further boost with the delivery of 520 multipurpose mini tractors for peasant farmers.

The tractors were received by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) through the Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate (AESD).

Small and medium-scale farmers will now have the appropriate accessories to enhance their yields.

Speaking at a demonstration ceremony held in the Awutu Senya Municipality in the Central Region, Director of the AESD, Mr Amatus K.B. Deyang disclosed that the tractors had been designed in three categories, with each having a 6.5hms engine-power accessory to perform several operations with minimum fuel.

Subsidy for farmers

The tractors would be made available to farmers at a subsidy between 40 and 60 per cent, but only for those who belong to farmer groups.

Tractor cost against the benefit

The benefits of the tractors, which cost between GH?15,000 and GH?18,000, is said to surpass the cost of acquiring the equipment few months after purchase.
Inasmuch as the initial deposit was difficult for many farmers, the increase in production months after purchase would encourage them to own one. In business, it is known that the more you supply, the more you earn. So if farmers can produce more within the shortest possible time, then they will generate more income.

There is a need for farmers to consider the long-term improvement they will acquire in agricultural techniques. Although most tractors plough, they also extend the cultivation area by smoothening hillocks and filling in gullies, as well as eradicating deep-rooted weeds.

Also, thoughts on labour shortage should be a motivation for farmers to acquire these machines, especially now that human labour has dropped due to the novel coronavirus. It is necessary to use the machines to replace human and animal power.

Thus, as farmers invest in purchasing these machines, they must consider the increases they will have on farm income. The machines create a world in which efficient agriculture can sell bountiful crops.

Mr Deyang encouraged all farmers to come together as a group, raise resources and acquire the machines to ease drudgery associated with farming operations and to ultimately enhance productivity.

Engineers’ remark

The global multipurpose mini tractor is designed and conditioned for a wide range of processes and soils within the context of African agriculture.

CEO and chairman of the board of KNIGHTS AS of Czech Republic, Dr Karl Laryea said at the gathering that the machines included passive and active accessories, which enabled it to be used all year round for everything from land preparation to post-harvest.

He noted that “the new invention is a 15-in-1 multipurpose solution that has a double-sided plough, drum mower, digging share, tipping trailer, harrow, ridging shares, irrigation pump, ploughing girdles, cultivator, shredder, corn crusher cultivator roller, rotary hoe and smoothing harrow”.

Dr Laryea said the operation of these accessories required less maintenance than the alternatives. He further added that the machines use minimum fuel, thereby reducing operational cost.

The CEO assured the farmers of the durability of these accessories, which had a technical lifespan of 15 years if operators followed the given rules and maintain it.

Women in farming

Rebecca Aboagye, President of ‘Nyonko Do’ Farmers’ Association, expressed her joy as the new invention was going to make work easier, especially for the women in the association.

She noted that some tractor drivers did not come to plough their lands even after taking money from them. She said the tractor drivers could ignore a whole season for planting crops, leading to low production.

“As I speak to you now, we are supposed to plough 100 acres of land; for the past two weeks, we have only ploughed 28 acres; meanwhile, the driver took money from us yesterday but did not come to work,” she lamented.

The president of the association called on women in the group to wake up and acquire these tractors to ease their workload.

She also pleaded with the government to help them acquire the machines as they were willing to pay back in instalments.

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