Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate (AESD) is one of the seven (7) technical Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. It operates under four (4) units namely:
Ensure the availability of farm power and other engineering technologies with sound and sustainable environmental practices for all the categories of farmers, fishermen and agro – processors in Ghana for agricultural production and related activities.
Its Functions includes
1. Establishment of Agricultural Mechanization Services Centers (AMSEC)
As part of government’s Accelerated Agricultural Modernization Policy to address the challenges confronting the comprehensive mechanization of agricultural production. Government through AESD has conceived and initiated the concept of Agricultural Mechanisation Services Enterprises Centers to assist the private sector to take a lead role in the provision of well-organized and commercially viable agricultural mechanization services.
This was due, in part, to the high initial capital investment in farm machinery and equipment procurement and high cost of borrowing seemed highly unattractive for private sector to invest in.
This therefore underscored the need for the government to support the private sector with some agricultural machinery and equipment for the establishment of mechanization services centers if targeted levels of agricultural production are to be achieved.
It is against this background that AESD facilitated the establishment and operation of eighty – four (84) AMSEC companies to make agricultural mechanization services readily available in a timely and affordable manner to majority of rural poor farmers who cannot acquire their own machines. The machinery/equipment allocated to AMSEC operators included tractors and its matching implements, maize shellers, and water pumps.
The allocations were based on machinery requirements of the AMSECs operators and their ecological locations. It is planned that all districts in the country will have at least one functional AMSEC in future.
Deployment of Combine Harvesters to Rice Growing Areas
Harvesting of crops in general has extensively been carried out using low technology and particularly in the case of rice harvesting has been done using tool such as sickle and to some extend obsolete combine harvesters in the country.
Government as part of its efforts to modernise agriculture in a holistic manner and cut down rice importation, through AESD continues to introduce and deploy combine harvesters from the Republic of Korea, Peoples Republic of China and Thailand to rice growing areas to support rice farmers in reducing the drudgery involved in rice harvesting and inferable increase rice productivity.
Since 2009 MOFA through AESD has introduced and deployed over 45 combine harvesters including maize and rice harvesters. Currently, AESD is expected to take delivery of 120 combine harvesters from China for onward deployment to farming districts. Out of this number 60 units of the harvesters have been fully assembled by the local agents awaiting the harvesting season.
Japanese Grant Assistance Programme (2KR Programme)
AESD in its effort to improve the machinery needs of rice farmers in 2005 re-negotiated with the Japanese Government to reactivate the 2KR Japanese Grant Assistance programme to assist underprivileged rice farmers. Subsequently, based upon good ex – post evaluation performance of 2KR – 2005, AESD qualified to receive other agricultural machinery package under 2KR – 2007 and 2KR – 2009.
In total agricultural machinery/equipment worth 11.4 Million USD has been received for distribution to rice farmers in specific regions.
The machinery/equipment deployed to beneficiary farmers include; agricultural tractors and accessories, power tillers, rice mills, water pumps, combine harvesters, rice reapers, and rice threshers.
Presently, agricultural machinery/equipment under 2KR – 2009 are being cleared and assembled at AESD premises. Some of the agricultural machinery supplied under 2KR programme are received in semi – knocked down forms and assembled using local technicians and mechanics in order to build local capacity.
Capacity of Farm Machinery Operators/Mechanics/Engineers/Technicians built
To ensure the efficient and effective use of farm power machinery and in addition, reduce the rate of breakdown of machinery/equipment over 100 beneficiaries of agricultural machinery, operators/mechanics/technicians and engineers in the private and public sectors are trained annually on the proper selection, operation and handling of agricultural tractors, combine harvesters, power tillers, boom sprayers, etc.
Link to pictures on operators training folder
Debt Recovery of Subsidized MOFA Machinery/Equipment sold on Hire Purchase
To improve on the debt recovery of subsidized MOFA machinery/equipment sold to farmers and agro processors on high purchase basis a number of reminder letters have been issued to beneficiaries requesting them to pay up their respective balances to the ministry. In furtherance to that a number of debtors notice and defaulters list have been published in some newspapers. The outcome of this exercise has improved the recovery rate. Machinery/equipment allocated to beneficiaries under 2KR – 2005 in the year 2006 have seen a recovery rate of about 70%. This activity is ongoing.
Development of Groundwater resources for agricultural purposes
The Ministry through AESD is aggressively supporting farmers to acquire borehole to harvest ground water for agricultural purposes (ie, micro scale crop farms, livestock farms and agro processing firms). In doing this MOFA through AESD has supported private companies to acquire borehole drilling rigs which are being used nationwide.
Developed MOFA Motorcycle Policy
To support the effective extension service delivery that the Ministry is embarking on especially in the area of provision of extension service on agricultural technologies, monitoring and evaluation, the Directorate has facilitated the development of a motorcycle policy to provide a general framework for the planned purchase of motorcycles for field staff, guide the distribution of motorcycles to field officers and immediate field supervisors to enable them deliver effective and efficient services to clients, rationalize the use, management and disposal of the motorcycles in the Ministry.
Draft proposal for Agricultural Engineering/Mechanisation Policy and MOFA Transport Policy Initiated
AESD is in the process of initiating draft proposals for the development of Ghana Agricultural Engineering/Mechanization Policy and MOFA Transport Policy in collaboration with other stakeholders. This exercise is ongoing.
Post harvest management
In the quest to ensure food security and emergency preparedness, the Ministry has established National strategic buffer stock programme to avert any unforeseen food shortage in the country. In support of that AESD continues to indentify and install Grain Pro cocoons in strategic locations across the country. It also continues to promote the use of grain super bags for the storage of grains and cereals to farmers and traders as one of the measures for post harvest management.
Periodically it carries out oxygen level checks in grain pro – cocoons with stored grains to ensure the safety of the grains in the pro – cocoons.
|Region||No of AMSEC established||% of AMSEC|
|Upper West Region||9||11%|
|Upper East Region||6||7%|