Farmers Cry For Affordable Loans


Stakeholders in the country’s agriculture sector have called on players within the country’s financial industry to address challenges that traders within the agric industry encounter in accessing loans.

The call was made in Accra at a stakeholders’ advocacy meeting organized by the Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization (GAPTO) yesterday in collaboration with Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) to draw the attention of financial institutions to the plight of farmers and traders.

According to the stakeholders, the difficulties traders and farmers face in accessing credits from the banks was negatively affecting the development of the agricultural sector.

Secretary General of GAPTO, Haruna Agesheka, in a statement, disclosed that the situation, if not addressed, could further hamper progress within the agriculture sector.

It has become extremely difficult for players within the sector to access credit from banks within the country, according to him.

‘Even in cases where they are willing to give the loans, it takes them about two to three months and mostly before these loans come the farming season is over which makes the loans, in most cases, meaningless,’ he said.

He stressed the need for stakeholders within the industry, including the Agricultural Development Bank (adb), EDIF and Micro Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to address the challenges of the traders to boost production within the sector.

The acting Head of Operations of MASLOC, Daniel Axim, urged traders to be conscious about the amount of money to borrow from the financial institutions.

Most farmers borrow monies from banks that they know they cannot repay, according to him.

The failure to repay such loans, he said, had compelled some traders to abandon their families.

‘2% of over 7,000 farmers and traders within the three northern regions whom we have worked with have committed suicide due to their inability to repay loans given to them,’ he told BUSINESS GUIDE.

BY Melvin Tarlue
 
 
 
 

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