Ghana has offered to settle progressive farmers from Punjab to give a push to the agricultural sector in the western African country, a Punjab government spokesman said Thursday.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal acceded to the proposal by a delegation from Ghana led by Deputy Energy and Petroleum Minister Benjamin Dagadu to settle farmers from Punjab in Ghana.
Badal assured the Ghana minister that a high-level delegation from Punjab would visit the African country soon to lay the groundwork for this settlement scheme, the spokesman said.
Dagadu said that Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama wanted to promote agriculture and that Ghana would welcome Punjabi expertise in this regard. He said the government of Ghana was also ready to allocate fertile agriculture land on long lease to Punjabi farmers.
Following this proposal, Badal said the Punjab government would send a delegation of officers and experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, to study the process whereby land could be leased out to Punjabi farmers as well as the suitability of the entire project.
“Following this, the state government could facilitate farmers to settle down in Ghana in 20,000 to 25,000 acres initially,” Badal said.
The Ghanaian minister, who visited a number of businesses in Ludhiana and Jalandhar during his three-day tour to Punjab, said his country would shortly appoint a business counsellor at Ludhiana to initiate a meaningful business relationship with Punjab.
He said Punjab could export finished goods to Ghana and that Punjabi entrepreneurs were also welcome to start manufacturing facilities in Ghana to take advantage of its natural resources including various minerals, oil, cocoa, palm oil, timber, fish and cotton. He said Punjab could also assist Ghana in becoming an agro based economy.