According to the Presidential Candidate of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, the next NDC government will establish farmers’ mechanisation centres in all farming districts to boost productivity.
“There is good news for farmers. We are going to open what we call farmers’ mechanisation centres,” he said this at a mini rally at Binduri in the Upper East Region.
Mr Mahama explained that in every farming district, interested farmers would have to register with the Centre adding: “We are going to put enough tractors, ploughs, harrows, and boom sprayers. Every machine you need to work with will be in the service centre. And so if you go and register it means you are a member of the centre.”
He added, “When you need a tractor to plough or to harrow, or to spray your crops, or even after you’ve harvested your maize or your millet, you need them to bring a thresher to thresh your maize or millet, they will bring it and do it for you.”
“You don’t need to pay immediately. What they will do is they will record the cost and when you finish harvesting and sell your crops then you can pay for it.”
He noted also that the staff would go round to inspect farm lands to assess how many acres farmers owned to ensure they were able to access the services when the farming season begun.
Mr Mahama said the allocation of machines to the centres will be based on the crop processing zones in the country.
The centres will be processing the crops for both the local market and possibly for export, he said, adding that it would provide a lot of jobs for young people.
The NDC Presidential Candidate said his government would embark on a big afforestation programme nationwide, especially in the Savannah areas, to grow trees.
“And so we are going to employ a lot of you young people in forestry. And then you are going to plant the trees and you are going to make sure that the trees grow,” he said.
Mr Mahama said those engaged in the programme would be given tricycles to water the trees during the dry seasons until they were able to stand on their own.
“And we will pay you for doing that. We will give you a monthly salary for growing those trees.”
Mr Mahama is being accompanied on his four-day tour of the Upper East Region by leading members of the Party, including Professor Joshua Alabi, National Campaign Manager, Alhaji Sofo Azorka, a National Vice Chairman; Alhaji Mumuni Bolnaba, Upper East Regional Chairman; Mr Cletus Avoka, NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Zebilla and Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central.