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Regional News Tue, 24 Jul 2007

Peasant Farmers call for establishment of credit fund

Accra, July 24, GNA - Mr. Mohammed Adam Nasiru, President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, has said the association will soon propose to government, to enact a legislation to enhance access to credit facilities for farmers and farm-related enterprises.

Speaking at a seminar in Accra on Tuesday, Mr. Nasiru said the proposed bill would help establish an Agriculture Credit Fund, which would provide financial resources to farmers and producers of designated or qualified agriculture products. It would also put in place mechanism to safeguard the farmers and their farm related enterprises.

Mr. Nasiru explained that the provision of credit and loans does not make domestic agriculture producers competitive. Consequently, he said, in situations where after having accessed credit from the fund, farmers' competitiveness was threatened by import upsurges, it would be necessary then to put in place measures, such as higher tariff or even the imposition of quotas to reduce the level of foreign competition.

He proposed that the fund should be administered by a commission, as opposed to the current practice of setting up a secretariat to administer funds in respect of the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF).

The proposed Agriculture Credit Commission would have a broader catchment area than the current skeletal secretariat usually centralized in Accra.

He said with the passage of the proposed bill, farmers access to credit, insurance and market would be enhanced.

Mr. Nasiru stressed that the capital contribution to the fund would come from a number of sources, but the principal subscribers to the capital of the fund would be the government and the Bank of Ghana. He expressed the hope that enactment of the bill would help solve some of the problems faced by farmers in import sensitive industries in Ghana.
Source: GNA