NFFAWAG demands single digit interest rate

Funding agricultural activities remain one of the major challenges for many farmers, particularly, small holder farmers  in the country.

Farmers have over the years complained of the cumbersome procedures they are subjected to by the financial institutions in the country when accessing funding from them.

Per the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA),  agricultural sector progress report 2016, the agricultural sector benefited from loans from various sources and to support various sub-sectors.

The total loan approved to the Agricultural sector by ADB increased by 21% with agricultural

production receiving the highest followed by agro-marketing (28.1%)  compared to 2015.

When you think seriously about it, you fall into a state of delima as to who is being truthful to the teaming population, the farmers and these financial institutions.

This is because, the chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, Davies Nene Korboe, has said, the Banking sector is doing very little in terms of lending to farmers, a situation he said, is not helping farmers in the country to expand their production.

From the foregoing, it would be appropriate for the government through the ministry of finance to make a law that would compel the Banks to lend to farmers and other agriculture related activities at a single digit interest rate.

To meet the aspirations for better life, production will have to expand through additional capital at single digit interest rate, he said.

Mr. Davies said this during the re-launching of the award winners association and its strategic document to aid the policies of the Agricultural transformation agenda of the government.

Mr. Davies is of the opinion that, when farmers are able to access loans at single digit interest, the sector will be  more competitive, since many potential investors may come in to invest, thereby boosting the transformation agenda of the economy we are yearning for as a Nation.

Some neighboring countries are practically enforcing the single digit interest rate for the Agricultural sector which is impacting positively on their economy and the lives of farmers.

Why can’t we replicate same in Ghana at a time the government is encouraging all to take up Agric as a serious business, he quizzed.

The association is therefore making a case before the President of Ghana to enjoin the financial institutions to lend to the farmers at single digit.

One of the speakers at the re-launching of NFAWAG, Mr. George Asamoah Amankwa contend that the Banks are not serving the core interest of Agric in the country, arguing that, the kind of documentations one would need  to source for financial support from these financial institutions would even discourage you from taking the loan.

He said, the valuation of their farms size and the items on it alone should serve as a collateral and guarantee in securing funds from these institutions but they overlook it.

What is preventing the Government from  making lending rate more flexible for farmers in the country? How then do we encourage the youth to take up farming as a serious profession when the setbacks outweighs its profits? he asked.

Mr. Asamoah propounded the need for government to be the lead agent of change in the agricultural transformation agenda, else the future of our Agriculture maybe threatened and the tendency of food importation will linger on.

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