EDAIF’s operations unfriendly to small scale farmers

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) says the operations of the Export Trade, Agriculture and Industrial Development Fund (EDAIF), is inimical to small scale farmers.

Professor Joseph Awetori Yaro, a lead researcher, said the mechanisms of indirect benefit through anchor farmers and out-growing arrangements is naive.

Prof Yaro said this when PFAG commissioned a research report on the operations of EDAIF and its benefits to small holder farmers in Accra.

While lauding government’s initiative to introduce EDAIF to solve the rigidities of financing agriculture in the country, he said the mandate of the fund, scale of operations and selection of beneficiaries limit its usefulness to small selected farmers.

The Researcher said EDAIF needs an effective information machinery to educate small holder farmers on its operations and how farmer associations and groups could obtain the funds.

“EDAIF should ensure that the disbursement of funds to farmers is timely with the crop season,” he added.

Prof Yaro said EDAIF should establish a practical working relationship with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to use its vast extension systems and knowledge platforms in their operations.

He said long-term sustainable development for Africa is achievable only by strengthening the agriculture sector and modernisation of the sector could only be achieved through adequate financing for farmers and adoption of newer technologies and practice.

Mr Abdul Rahman, National President of PFAG, called EDAIF to decentralise its operations to make it easier for rural farmers to benefit.

He said access to credit facility is a challenge and this is more serious due to the high cost of inputs and land preparation.

He, therefore, called on government to release the subisdised fertilisers promised for the 2015 farming season as the period has started. GNA

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