By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Government of Ghana have signed a grant agreement under the “Food Security Project for underprivileged farmers (2KR)” to promote food security.
The grant agreement was signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Hanna S. Tetteh (MP) and JICA Chief Representative, Mr. Koji Makino on behalf of their respective governments. The ceremony took place in Accra.
The Japanese 2KR was launched in Japan in 1977 as a scheme for the purchase of agricultural machinery and materials to be utilized for increasing food production in developing countries.
Ghana has been a beneficiary of this grant assistance since 1981 and the focus of the project in the country is the provision of agricultural machinery to enhance the production of rice of which its import is now rapidly increasing.
For 2KR 2013, the Japanese Government provided the Government of Ghana with 70 four wheeled agricultural tractors (with matching implements), 43 power tillers, 35 rice threshers, 20 rice reapers, and 5 rice mills.
These items will be allocated to underprivileged or small scale farmers in the six project areas namely Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Ashanti, Volta and Greater Accra regions on hire purchase basis.
Madam Hannah Tetteh thanked the government of Japan for its continue support to the development of this country.
She stated that the government is doing a lot to improve food security in the country. ‘There is a lot this government is doing to improve the livelihood of small holder farmers in the country. I believe that with this support from Japanese government will go along way to assist this country,’ she added.
According to the Mr. Makino, ‘the Government of Japan is committed to helping Ghana achieve sufficient food production. Rice is one of the most important staple crops in Ghana and its consumption is quite high. We are assisting the efforts of the Government of Ghana at ensuring that many small-scale famers across the country are empowered to plant, process and produce rice in commercial quantities. This way, they will be contributing to food security in the country and also improve their own living standards.’
Since its commencement, the project has improved the local production of rice and has contributed to the sustainable livelihood of small-scale farmers. It has also helped these farmers to contribute to promoting food security in the country.