Business News of Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Source: GNA

Japanese Government to promote agriculture development in northern Ghana

The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Naoto Nikai, on Wednesday in Tamale gave the assurance that the Japanese Government would support small scale farming in the Northern part of Ghana, to increase agricultural production.

He also announced more educational scholarship packages at the undergraduate and post-graduate level for Ghanaians.

Mr. Nikai asked interested students to avail themselves of the opportunity, and said that Japan would continue to exchange research and educational experiences with Ghana.

He announced these when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Development Studies (UDS), staff and Deans of the various faculties, to interact and share ideas for mutual benefits.

The visit was also to strengthen the existing research relation with the UDS and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and find out areas of further collaboration and support.

Mr. Nikai said past students, who had benefited from the Japanese scholarships had good relations in that country and kept good contact that makes further extension to be easy and possible.

The Ambassador said Japan was much aware of the numerous challenges facing the Northern part of the country and assured that most of its development assistance to Ghana would target the Northern part of the country and mentioned the Upper West as the region to benefit most.

He said as part of the G8 summit, Japan would soon roll out a five-year climate change adaptation programme to reduce the devastating effect of climate change in Northern Ghana, to increase crop yield for the small scale farmer adding that “Japan will help increase rice production for the small scale farmer”.

Professor David Millar, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UDS, expressed worry about the increasing international ideology of Ghana about the establishment of large scale plantations as a way of reducing poverty.

He said when more resources were made available to the large scale farmer, it would deprive the small scale farmer of inputs.

Prof. Millar appealed to the international community to assist small scale farmers.**