The government says it is exploring ways to increase access to finance for farmers to enable them procure machinery to increase productivity and enhance the agro-processing sector.
To this end, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has started negotiations with two local banks, the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and Fidelity Bank, to provide credit to farmers.
Speaking to the press in Parliament on Monday to announce the date for the celebration of the 2020 National Farmers’ Day, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said: “We have noticed that some of the farmers have shown lots of commitment, and it is the reason we are talking to some banks, including ADB and Fidelity, to provide loans for farmers who need credit to buy equipment and machinery to enhance agro-processing.”
This initiative, he stated, will have a big impact on the agro-processing sector in the near term.
The agricultural sector plays a critical role in the overall economic growth of the Ghanaian economy. Agro-processing, in particular, is important because it supports value addition and reduces post-harvest losses, which are high in Ghana.
Farmers’ Day at Techiman
This year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration is slated for November 6 in Techiman, in the Bono East region, with the objective of honouring hardworking farmers and fisherfolk in the country.
According to Dr. Afriyie Akoto, the pandemic has highlighted the indispensability of farmers.
“In a very significant way, our farmers and fisherfolk kept the nation afloat at the peak of the pandemic by continuously breaking their backs to put food on our table and providing our nutritional needs, a vital requirement for strengthening the immune system to effectively combat the Covid-19 virus.”
As part of the celebration, a week-long agricultural fair is being held in Techiman starting November 2.
The fair will provide a platform for interaction among farmers and other stakeholders of agriculture on improving agribusiness along the value chain. It is designed to whip up interest in the Farmers’ Day celebration to ensure its overwhelming success.