The Agricultural Engineering Services Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has begun field experimentation of multi-purpose farming tricycles to help address the logistics challenges facing farmers in the country.
The on field experimentation which was conducted on Friday for members of the Yilo Krobo Mango Farmers Association was to enable the Ministry and the farmers assess their effectiveness and durability.
The tricycles costing between GH¢8,000 and GH¢18,800 are fitted with a four ton carrier bucket that could carry 100 bags of cement a corn sheller, a sprayer, a generator and a water pump.
Ms Nora Gao Nong, a Country Director of International Company Ghana Limited, distributors of the machines briefing the farmers said the new technology could shell over 45 bags of maize a day while the generator would provide electricity for the farm house.
She said the bucket of the tipper was well fitted for all purpose farming activities especially during harvesting to reduce cost of labour on farms.
Ms Nong stated that the machines which are already in use in parts of the Northern region have been tested and proven suitable and assured of a one-year warranty as well as the availability of parts.
The Greater Accra Director of the AESD of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Joseph K. Boamah said the machines have arrived at the opportune time that the Ministry was searching for simpler means of transport for rural farmers.
He said both the department and the beneficiary farmers would critically assess the mould of the tricycles and make appropriate recommendation to the sector Minister for its acquisition for the farmers at highly subsidized prices.
“Rural farmers have gone through transportation difficulties resulting in post harvest losses and the tricycles as such would address those challenges and urged the farmers to embrace it.”
The Chairman of the Yilo Krobo Mango farmers Association, Joseph K. Odzeyem said the association would confer with members in order to assist those who would not have the means to purchase them.
The machines he said would help their farming activities especially transporting the produce from farm to the market centres.
He bemoaned the effects of climate change on mango production explaining since 2007 production had from two sessions to one major season.
The phenomenon, Mr Odzeyem explained is having adverse effects on their finances since they have to constantly maintain the farms.
He has therefore called on scientists and plants experts to study the situation and come out with solutions.