The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Mrs Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, has said her outfit has evolved a new strategy to encourage beneficiaries of its loans to venture into farming to serve a as major food stock for schools and institutions across the country.
Mrs Attionu disclosed this when she paid a courtesy call on Mr Daniel Syme, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister during a working visit to the region to acquaint herself on how the scheme was fairing.
She explained that when this is done it would create a ready market for the beneficiaries and at the same time encourage schools and institutions to consume locally produced foods.
She stated that so far, the Scheme had disbursed about GH¢2,600,000 to 6,200 people made up of 5,700 women and 500 men and stressed that the support had contributed significantly to improve livelihoods of beneficiaries.
The CEO said some of the beneficiaries were engaged in food production, agro-processing, livestock farming, micro enterprise (petty trading), Schools Feeding Programme, whilst others went into vocations such as handicrafts.
She stated that the Centre would embark on a value chain approach to create more employment for the youth and cited for instance that people would be supported to go into rice farming; others would do the milling while different groups would do the marketing and transportation of the produce.
She announced that, this time the disbursement would focus more on rural folks, particularly women groups to help them improve upon their livelihoods.
She further announced that the Centre had diversified its strategies by adding implements and farm inputs into its fold and would purchase implements including tractors and nuts crashers for farming groups.
The CEO expressed happiness when she visited some of the beneficiaries in the communities to inspect businesses they were engaged in.
At Nangalikinia in Navrongo, the women group numbering about 100 had cultivated bags of rice ready for sale.
Majority of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the Centre and said it had empowered them to take good care of their homes particularly paying of their children’s school fees including the National Health Insurance Scheme premiums.
The CEO appealed to the beneficiaries to endeavour to repay their loans for others to also benefit and impressed upon the loan recovery officers to double their efforts in retrieving the loans.
Mrs Attionu was accompanied by the Human Resource Manager of MASLOC, Ms Esther Agbeko, the Finance Manager in charge of operations, and other officials of the centre as well as the acting Regional Manager of the Centre, Mr Isaac Arabogo.
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