Ghana secures US$180m credit facility to boost agric, irrigation

The Government of Ghana (GoG) has received a US$180 million agricultural credit facility to bolster the fortunes of food production in the country.

The facility which is offered by the India government is expected to boost government’s One District, One Factory initiative.

Meanwhile, the financing terms for these two facilities, includes an interest rate of 1.50 percent, repayment spanning 20 years, moratorium of five years, and maturity of 25 years and a grant element of 34.46 percent.

Of the amount, US$150 million would be dedicated towards agricultural mechanization service centre projects and the rest US$30 million for the upgrading and supply of potable water systems in the Northern Region, specifically in Yendi.

Partners of the agreement, including the GoG, government of India and the Indian EximBank expect that the mechanization programme will improve farmer’s access to affordable agricultural machinery in every district across the country.

Ghana has about 136,000 km2 of land, (57 percent) of the country’s 238,539 km2 total land being classified as “agricultural land area”.

Out of the 136,000, roughly 58,000 km2 (24.4 percent) is under cultivation and 11,000 hectares under irrigation.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta explained at the signing ceremony that the project would enable resource-constrained households who could not afford their own agricultural machinery, to benefit from free mechanized farming services in their districts.

The project will also support the establishment of cottage industries and small factories for processing of rice, maize and cassava, as well as cottage machine shops for fabricating small farm tools and equipment in support of the government policy initiative of “1D1F” and job creation, the Minister said.

Instructively, the Yendi Water project according to government, is to ensure that a chunk number of the population have access to potable water by 2030, beginning with the over 133,000 people in Yendi and its environs.

Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E. Birender Singh Yadav, pledged India’s continued support to Ghana and added that the country had benefitted from a number of interventions from India in the area of education, transportation, rural electrification projects, roads, waste management equipment, fish processing and harvesting among other things.

“Our development engagements will continue to be on terms that will be favorable to you that will liberate your potentials and not constrain your future,” he assured.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe