The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has invited the management of AGROMAPIC Ltd, the oldest agricultural college in Israel, to Ghana to discuss a possible collaboration in applying satellite technology to gather reliable statistics on the agricultural sector.
The institute specialises in the use of drones and satellites to survey acreages under specific crops, identify plant diseases and water-stressed cropping areas.
Dr Akoto disclosed the collaboration to the Daily Graphic and said he recently visited Israel to learn at first hand how the drones were used to take such vital information.
Speaking in an interview on his return from the 10-day official visit to that country, he said there were practical field demonstrations of the use of the tools (drones) in their aerial diagnostic analysis.
Dr Akoto explained that the company was invited to Ghana to discuss Ghana’s current work on the agricultural census, which was due to take place soon.
He observed that since 1984, Ghana had not held an agricultural census and was hopeful that “in some few months’ time, this exercise will happen because all the preparatory works have been completed.”
The minister also hinted that the ministry was inviting the largest manufacturing irrigation company in Israel, NaanDanJAIN, to Ghana for further discussion on future collaborations.
He said the company manufactured all types of irrigation tubes and pumping machinery for worldwide distribution and that it was well known for its ability to develop agriculture in semi-arid areas in India.
During the visit, the minister said he was shown a consignment of irrigation machinery specifically for smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso ready for shipment.
Dr Akoto, who was impressed with the company, said it had large contracts with the Chinese and Russian governments in developing irrigation in poorly irrigated areas.
“I invited the company to come to Ghana to survey the northern Savannah zone for an irrigation project of the Katenga and Fulfosu valleys with possible financial assistance from the Exim Bank of India,” the minister explained.