Farmers to receive loans from rural banks for Agri-business

By Fatima Anafu-Astanga, GNA

Bolgatanga, Sept. 11, GNA – Mr Hayatudeen Awudu
Ibrahim, the Garu branch Manager of BESSFA Rural Bank in the Upper East Region,
has said farmers under the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) will be given loans
by Rural Banks, at a low interest rate, this year to enhance productivity.

“Farmers need the financial support to
expand their farms and increase productivity to speed up growth of
agri-business in the Garu and Tempane Districts of the Upper East Region”.

The Warehouse Receipt System is a document
of title given to farmers after storing their grains in a certified warehouse.

The farmers are then able to present the receipt
as collateral to secure financial assistance from the WRS partner banks.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News
Agency, Mr Ibrahim reiterated the commitment of rural banks to support farmers,
saying discussions were underway by the players in the banking industry,
notably the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCE) and APEX Bank, to embrace the WRS
and improve the earnings of farmers. 

He said farmers in the past found it
challenging to take loans from the banks and other financial institutions to
expand their businesses due to the risks involved in farming, erratic rainfall,
post-harvest loses and poor markets, that affected production.

“However, the Warehouse Receipt System
(WRS), where post -harvest loses and marketing of farm produce was to be improved,
the anxiety and uncertainties of farmers will be reduced thereby giving them
the courage to borrow from the banks to improve their work”.

He said all was set to start after harvest,
November –December this year and the loans would attract a low interest rate to
cushion farmers until they sell their farm produce

“The loans to be given are highly protected
in terms of collateral as all the documents prepared will include the interest
and the terms accepted by both parties, that is the bank and the client so the
bank can exercise the option of disposal even if the farmer is reluctant to do

He advised farmers to form groups and take
advantage of the opportunities that would be made available to them saying no
farmer who has enough produce in a ware house would be denied a loan.

Mr Maxwell Akandem, the Chief Executive
Officer of Akandem Farms at Sandema, Builsa North District, who also spoke with
the GNA indicated that the move to support farmers with a sustainable financing
scheme was a good strategy that would enhance farmers’ productivity.