The Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Sugandh Rajaram, has reiterated India’s commitment to the development of rural agriculture in the country. The High Commissioner is currently on a one-week official and maiden visit to the Upper West Region.
In an interaction with the media, Mr. Rajaram indicated that Ghana has received US$150 million concessionary grant from the Government of India.
The grant forms part of a funding of US180 million from the Indian Government announced earlier this year.
According to him, this will help establish district mechanization centers across the country to give farmers access to mechanization services.
Meanwhile, Mr. Rajaram stated that the move will help boost agricultural activities in the country especially in the rural areas. This is because rural Ghana hosts most of the country’s poor population who are largely dependent on agriculture for their living.
“India and Ghana are working together in various areas, including rural agriculture, which is a priority to improve the lives of the people,” said Mr Rajaram.
Also, Mr. Rajaram stated that Ghana, just like India, has the majority of its population living in the rural areas.
As such, he indicated that both governments should not forget that the future of their countries depend to a great extent on these people.
He particularly, emphasized the contribution of the rural folks in the agriculture sector of both countries.
Consequently, Mr Rajaram said the two countries must therefore, make a deliberate effort to focus on the rural agrarian areas. This is especially so, when implementing development programs, particularly in the agricultural services.
Furthermore, the High Commissioner noted that the similarities between Ghana and India presented lots of opportunities in development cooperation.
This, according to him, was his decision to embark on the regional tour. He believes the tour will enable him learn the strengths and opportunities for cooperation.
Mr Rajaram further stated that there is a lot of intensity in stakeholder engagement between the two countries in the capital, Accra. But, this is not so across the rest of regions of the country.
As such, he stated that India’s support must be widespread across the country.
Cooperation in health and trade
In the health sector, Mr Rajaram said India is the Pharmacy of the world. According to him, India produces more than 70 percent of the drugs and more than 75 percent of vaccines. He noted that India also supply drugs and vaccines to more than 150 countries.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Rajaram noted that India supplied more than 85 million vaccines to more than 70 countries so far.
He emphasized that this indicates the country’s commitment to the health needs of the world.
Furthermore, the High Commissioner highlighted India’s commitment to promoting trade relations with Ghana.
He averred that India is targeting to cross five billion dollars’ worth of trade between the two countries.
According to him, two years ago, trade between the two nations was worth around 4.5 billion dollars. However, it dropped to about 2.5 billion dollars due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, he is hopeful the situation will improve for trade between the two nations to hit the five-billion-dollar target.
He added that India looks forward to expanding trade relations between the two countries.
Within his one-week stay in the Upper West Region, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana is looking forward to interacting with political and traditional authorities.
He will also interact with the business community, educational and health, and cultural institutions.
Particularly, Mr Rajaram will visit the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), the Regional Hospital, and the Centre for National Culture.