Kpandai (N/R), July 24, GNA – SEND-Ghana, a pro-poor social intervention non-governmental organization, has supported some smallholder farmers in the Nanumba North, East Gonja and the Kpandai districts with GH â‚µ 48, 6405.
The amount was disbursed through credit unions operating in the beneficiary districts to ensure easy retrieval of the loans.
Mr Wekem Raymond Avatim, Director for Livelihoods and Food Security Development of SEND-Ghana , said the credit facilities were being given to the credit unions to disburse to the farmers based on their farm sizes and that some 1,081 farmers were benefiting.
At a ceremony to disburse the funds at Kpandai on Wednesday, Mr Avatim said the support was under the Food Security through Co-operatives in Northern Ghana (FOSTERING) project, which had a total budget of 8,032,149 Canadian dollars, part of which is being used to support the farmers.
FOSTERING is a five-year project starting from 2013 to 2017 and being implemented by SEND-Ghana with support from the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA) in an integrated agricultural model that would ensure food security.
Mr Avatim said the credits were being disbursed for this farming season to assist the farmers to have sustainable livelihoods and that a Loan Management Committee had been set up in those districts.
He said the credits would be used by the farmers to meet production cost and inventory expenses and pay back within nine months with an interest rate of 23.5 percent.
He said the farmers could form groups to be assisted through the credit scheme to purchase tractors.
Mr Avatim said FOSTERING was expected to increase sustainable and gender equitable food security for over 42,000 women and men in 5,400 households within 116 communities in eight districts.
He said the project would guarantee food security and sustainable economic growth for smallholder farmers through improved production, marketing and expansion of household activities into off-season businesses.
Madam Linda Adofode, a beneficiary farmer, said the project had enabled her to meet her children’s education obligations.
Alhaji Mohammed Sibawayi Lawal who also benefited from the scheme commended SEND-Ghana for the support and said the NGO’s introduction of the cultivation of soybean in the area had helped improve the people’s financial status.
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