The “Bawku East Small-Scale Farmers Association” (BESSFA) Rural Bank an indigenous private community bank is committed to supporting farmers, aggregators and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their agribusiness activities in the area.
This would help the farmers expand their businesses to enhance agricultural productions to boost food security in the country. In view of that, the bank is set to support over 8,000 farmers to undertake business in maize, soy bean and rice productions and aggregators in its jurisdiction to enable them engage in their farming and trading businesses.
Out of the number, 120 are into aggregation and Small and Medium Enterprises while the rest are into agricultural productions in its operational areas such as Garu- Tempane, Pusiga, Bunkprugu, Nakpanduri, Nalerigu and Bawku districts.
According to management 11,000 farmers, aggregators and the Small and Medium Enterprises were supported in 2021 farming season which has helped to improve on their activities and also enable them payback their loans. The support has enabled the farmers expand their acres of farm lands of grain value chains such as soy bean, maize, rice, millet, water melon among other cash crops to curb poverty.
The Credit Manager of the Bank Simon Ananne in an interview said, the Bank aside the financial support has been liaising with the Agricultural experts and the Agricultural extension agents to educate the farmers on best farming practices to maximize crop yield. He said the beneficiaries have been linked to an insurance company to insure them to avoid any unforeseen incident that might occur after the disbursement of the funds and also protect their businesses with the bank to be able to access their finance.
He added that the decline of the support is due to their inability to secure some funding this year to support the beneficiaries and hope to access some funding to increase the support. He noted that the bank has for the past years been supporting the farmers with their businesses saying, through the support many have been able to expand their businesses. Due to that many have been in business thereby creating job opportunities in the areas as well as making access to food stuffs easy.
The General Manager for the Bank Hayatudeen Awudu Ibrahim said, the Bank’s initial capital was contributed by farmer groups with support from the Presbyterian Agricultural Station – Garu under the leadership of Mr. John Opata (late). With the presence in the Upper East and the North East Regions of Ghana, the Bank has been providing customers with fast, convenient and differentiated service for over three decades.
”We are dedicated to promoting financial inclusion and as such we leverage technology and introduce digital channels that provide clients with stress-free and 24/7 access to financial solutions across the country”, he said.
He said, management is committed to promoting financial inclusion and creating value for stakeholders through excellent service, innovation and professionalism. To ensure the farmers and aggregators meet the required standard of accessing finance for their businesses, Trade line Consult, an agribusiness consultant service has engage to help profile the document of the beneficiaries to meet the bank’s requirement. They were also engaged to provide capacity training and advisory to enable the farmers adapt to best farming practices to boost food productions in the country.
Source: zaanews.com/Lilian D.Walter