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N/R: Farmers in northern region appeal to financial institutions for support

Farmers in the northern Ghana have asked financial institutions to come to their rescue by extending credit facilities that will aid the expansion of their operations in a bid to meet increasing market demand. The farmers made the call in an agricbusiness development panel conversation with partners including Yara, Ecobank, World food programme, GIZ MOAP, ADB, Demeter, UFLC.

The conversation was an opportunity to deliberate and agree on realistic ways to cooperate and work together, to improve upon and build resilient markets.  It brought together smallholder farmers from the five regions of the north. The farmers say financing agriculture is key to Ghana’s development and connecting smallholder farmers with lending institutions in Ghana is the most important strategy to relief smallholder farmers of their financial burden to make it possible for them to afford inputs needed to increase productivity and end hunger.

Financing Agriculture in Ghana over the years and now is a major challenge which has trap farmers especially the smallholder farmers in the rural Ghana. As a result of lack of access to finances from financial houses, banks and other sources, the smallholder farmers have been trap with poverty, non- access to finance for expansion of their farms, purchasing of farming inputs and machinery to increase productivity.

Most Smallholder farmers are already stuck in low soil fertility- poverty trap, making it impossible for them to afford inputs needed to increase productivity and end hunger. There is the need for Ghana to accelerate sustainable soil management practices and capitalize on growth in the agriculture sector. Addressing the farmers at the discussion, West Africa Country Director of YARA Ghana, Danquah Addo-Yobo advised the farmers to build Agric Value Chain (AVCs) partnership that has common objectives and high standards to be able to receive support from financial institutions. He said Agricultural Value Chains have become very important in determining countries’ trade competitiveness in a globalized world.

 He said in Africa, where agriculture is the backbone in many economies, AVCs are important not only in enhancing export competitiveness, but also in developing sustainable agricultural systems, alleviating poverty and promoting financial inclusion, especially of the rural poor. 

By: Lilian D. Walter.zaanews.com/Ghana

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