Stanbic Bank to assist farmers defray loans

Mr Francis Dompae, Project Coordinator of Africare, has said his outfit in partnership with the Stanbic has provided 10 million dollars to assist farmers and farmer-based organisations in the production value chain.

He said this was meant to shore up the uncertainties and risk associated with the weather in relation to loans contracted by them.

Mr Dompae said this during a workshop at the Africare/MOFA Strategic Farmers’ meeting at Nsuta in the Jasikan District.

The workshop to discuss a baseline study attracted extension officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Christian Action Network, a Hohoe-based development oriented non-governmental organisation and farmer-based organisations within the three operational districts of Hohoe, Jasikan and Kadjebi.

The event was under the auspices of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and aimed at integrated soil fertility management practices to reduce land degradation and increase incomes.

The project targeted about 50,000 farmers and FBOs over a three-year period and helped to transfer integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) technologies between smaller holder farming communities in the Volta Region.

Mr Dompae said that credit and financial services would be prioritised and farmer education and sensitisation programmes would be mainstreamed for sustainable food security.

He said the slash and burn method was injurious to the environment and must be discouraged as it destroys vital soil nutrients and exposes it to direct sunlight, making the production chain more expensive.

Mr Ernest Quansah, Jasikan Director of MOFA, said modern research and technology was helping to make agriculture stress-free and appealed to farmers to adopt the advice of extension officers to improve on their lots.

Mr Carson Atitsogbui, Kadjebi Director of MOFA, said only five percent of loans granted farmers and FBOs were recovered in 2010 and that defaulters would be prosecuted.

Mr Johnson Achemdie, a farmer group representative, said the project was laudable as it would help production, improve networking and help in the value chain concept by equipping farmers with the requisite technical skills. GNA

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