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Peasant farmers cry to gov’t for urgent loans and other interventions

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Adnan Adams Mohammed
The Association of Peasant farmers in the country has called on the government for urgent interventions to help them in securing loans and market accessibility for their produces as they claim the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) hesitates in granting their loan requests once they notice they are farmers.
Charles Nyaaba, programs manager for the Peasant Farmers laments that, farmers go through a major struggle in securing loans from banks, even from mandated once such as ADB, which’s core mandate is to assist farmers with loans in order to stimulate the growth of agriculture in the country.
Again, the farmers want the government to show commitment to its intention to ban rice importation by 2022 as announced by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture aimed at strengthening local rice farmers to produce for domestic consumption and export.
“Once you mention you’re a farmer, ADB is hesitant to give you a loan. We tried it and it never materialised,” Mr Nyaaba said during radio interview in Accra, last week.
He urged government to help farmers mechanise their work in order to enhance yield.
“Years ago, when you talk of peasant farmers we used to use cutlasses and hoes under the sun but majority are better off than before because of technology. Peasant farmers in the past used to plant to eat but now many produce to sell as well.
“Planting for food & jobs, good weather condition & the modernization that came with improved seeds & weedicides have contributed to the development of the economic. We need a complete mechanization Centre that can process our produce”.
Meanwhile, the 2009 National Best Farmer, Davis Narh said, local farmers must be helped with branding of their produce in order to make them competitive.
the “We need to look at branding as farmers and increase our marketing drive as well. We should remain competitive. It is time we add value to our products as farmers also. The government need to support in this regard. A lot more can be done to support farmers and train them so they can remain competitive”.

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