The Ministry of Finance and the Export and Import Bank of India held a signing ceremony yesterday to finance the construction of a tractor and backhoe loader assembly factory in Ghana.
Action Construction Equipment (ACE) Limited of India would handle the engineering, procurement, and development (EPC) contract for the project, which also included the construction of an assembly plant to fabricate agricultural implements.
It would cost $24.9 million, with a completion date of 18 months following the signing ceremony yesterday.
Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, said it was significant that the initiative was getting off the ground as the world grappled with food shortages as a result of post-COVID-19 issues and the Russian-Ukraine war.
He stated that it was critical that such a project be implemented, not only to mechanise farming and maintain food security in the country, but also to create jobs.
Mr Ofori-Atta expressed the hope that the project would serve as a foundation for mechanised farming, which would diversify the economy and speed up development. He also stated that small and marginally skilled farmers would have access to mechanical agricultural equipment.
He praised the EXIM bank and the Indian government for their various contributions to the country over the years, which have helped to solidify the two countries’ bilateral relationship.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Sector Minister, said agricultural mechanisation has been highlighted as one of the primary drivers for enhanced agricultural productivity and improvement in a speech read on his behalf by Twumasi Ankrah, the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Dr. Akoto stated that the project would help to alleviate poverty by creating more jobs and making farming more appealing, as the agricultural sector was a significant contributor to the country’s export earnings, a major source of inputs for industry, and a source of income for the majority of the population.
Mr Selver Kumar, EXIM Bank’s Resident Representative, stated that the bank has been partnering with Ghana on a number of development projects since 2004, assisting in the establishment of a beneficial bilateral relationship between the two countries.
He expressed hope that the project, in addition to promoting food security, would also produce a large number of job opportunities along the value chain, and that it would be a game changer in terms of boosting food exports in the country.