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Antika receives four tractors to boost seed production

By
Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA

Wa, July 21, GNA –
Antika Company Limited on Thursday received four tractors and tractor related
equipment to help increase the production of high quality seeds for smallholder
farmers.

The vehicles and
equipment were financed under the USAID Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer
(ATT) Project’s Seed Sector Loan Support Programme (SSLSP) which is being
partnered by USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (FinGAP) and Barclays
Bank.

ATT is supporting
Antika Company with 15 per cent of the loan principal which will be used to
reduce the total interest repayable on the loan, FinGAP bore the cost of the
Business Advisory Service institution that facilitated the granting of the loan
by Barclays Bank.

Dr Gary R. Mullins,
Chief of Party, USAID Ghana ATT Project, said ATT has always taken a value
chain approach in an industry with many related sectors.

He expressed happiness
that with funding from USAID, they have been able to supply many of those
sectors with various inputs such as planters, seed processors, lab equipment
and motor bikes among others.

Dr Mullins said in all
these, what they found still missing was the issue of finance, hence the need
for ATT to search for partners with expertise.

“Because it will be on
the back of a strong seed sector that Ghana’s agricultural productivity would
improve and thereby eliminate the seasonal hunger and perpetual poverty that
has plagued many rural households in northern Ghana”, Dr Mullins said.

Dr Victor Antwi, USAID
FinGAP Deputy Chief of Party and Manager, Agribusiness Opportunities
Development Unit, said so far 125 million dollars have been invested into the
rice, maize and soy value chain within the last three and half years.

He said over 124,000
smallholder farmers have so far benefited over the period.

Mr Robert Pusabaduap,
Barclays Bank Area Manager for the Northern Cluster, said the bank has been in
the country for over 100 years and has been supporting the growth of all
sectors of the economy.

He said the 15 per
cent interest on loans absorbed by the ATT made the loans less risky for the
company.

Alhaji Abdulai Seidu
Antiku, Managing Director of Antika Company Limited, thanked ATT Project for
the confidence reposed on his company, saying such confidence over the years
has led to useful collaborations in the area of seed production and the establishment
of demonstration farms for farmer education.

Others are acquisition
of four compartments of seed processing equipment such as blower, grader,
treatment plant and calibrator; seed laboratory instruments; fertilizer
briquetting machine and seed distribution van.

Alhaji Antiku pledged
the company’s commitment to deliver and serve as a model that would attract
more investment to the agriculture sector.

 “Agriculture must be seen as a business
venture and not just hand-to-mouth activity. I urge all particularly the youth
to take up agriculture seriously as there are many opportunities in agriculture
than any other field”, he said.

GNA

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