Government must show how it will distribute agricultural funds – Farmers

Business News of Sunday, 16 September 2018



The farmers want government to cap interest on loans at below 2.5 percent

Farmers in the country want government to come clear on the modalities with which it intends to issue out funds meant to support the agriculture sector.

The farmers say although government has assured of revamping the ailing Agriculture sector through the funds, they would want the government to publish how it will execute the action or plan.

Their call follows President Akufo-Addo’s announcement of setting up a 500 million cedi’s fund known as the Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending Scheme.

The policy is to support farmers through loans at reasonable rates to sustain their farming activities.

According to the President, the move forms part of policies his government has properly aligned to grow the agricultural sector.

The facility will serve as a form of insurance for commercial banks to in-turn give out loans at reasonable rates to farmers.

In an interview with Citi Business News, the General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Edward Kareweh said although the action is a step in the right direction, further clarification is needed.

“Probably we need to have more details of it from them. I believe this is a bulk policy and they will do us a favor. Also, we will like to know the details. It should be a simple procedure or process that farmers can easily access using those processes” he said.

Meanwhile the Vice President of the Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana, Napoleon Agyeman Oduro however wants the government to cap interest on loans at below 2.5 percent if they are to stay competitive.

““I think anything beyond 2.5 percent will still be disastrous. The point here is this, as we talk now, if my profit margin is equivalent to how much I am going to pay in terms of interest rate, I will be happy with it. At the moment, farmers are not making profit and when I go for funds to expand my operations and I have to pay 40 percent to the bank, I will not be able to pay. But I think anything beyond 2.5 percent at this moment where farming industry is dying, I think it will do as great harm”, he explained.

The fund is to be set up by the Bank of Ghana.

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