Ghanaian mechanised agricultural equipment supplier AFGRI Ghana Limited says it has established 10 model farms to teach local farmers the correct ways of using mechanised equipment to maximise on crop yields per hectare.
The company, which is a leading supplier of John Deere farm equipment in Ghana, also plans to export its wide range of products to other countries in West Africa and beyond.
Addressing a recent fishing and farming awards ceremony in the capital Accra, AFGRI Ghana Country Manager Gerrie Jordaan said they will provide capacity building to enable farmers to plan their mechanisation needs, as well as how to find, operate and service essential farm equipment such as tractors.
“The lifetime for most tractors here in Ghana is about 5 years, but the lifespan of a tractor elsewhere could range from anything between 15 and 20 years. We need to educate farmers to take good care of their equipment so that it can last longer,” Jordan said.
He said the 10 model farms in 5 provinces are expected to help improve yields through better soil preparation and the adoption of modern crop management techniques. The company has since created a credit facility called John Deere Financial to provide low-income farmers with loans to acquire the John Deere brand of mechanised equipment.
“We created the model farms to teach and demonstrate to the farmers that with correct mechanisation, they can use the same input costs to get better crops. Farmers normally yield 1.5 tons to 2 tons per hectare when using traditional ploughing means, but in our model farms, we have been able to get up to 8 tons of crops per hectare,” he said.