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3 Ministries snub discussion on financing for smallholder farmers

Officials of the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Food and Agriculture and Gender and Social Protection on Tuesday absented themselves from a roundtable discussion that sought to deliberate on critical issues of agriculture financing particularly for smallholder farmers who feel neglected in that regard.

The President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Mohammed Abdul Rahman says disregard for the roundtable discussion by the three critical ministries clearly indicates a disregard for the sector which holds the key to improving the lives of many Ghanaians.

When it was time to receive statements from the Ministries of Finance, Food and Agriculture, and Gender and Social Protection, there was no representative from all three ministries to speak on the theme: “Roundtable on access to credit by smallholder farmers; the role of financial institutions”.

After waiting for a while in disappointment, participants had to continue the programme without the invited government officials mandated to spearhead the formulation of policies.

“Later on, there was a message to us saying that the Minister said they forgot it was Tuesday and that they thought it was to be held on Thursday. But we will not stop it at this point; we will convene this type of meeting to bring them onboard because without them I don’t think this issue will be addressed”.

Mr. Abdul-Rahman was saddened that issues of agriculture financing were being treated without much seriousness.

“We are not happy because it’s like the problem is not going to be solved. If they had been here we will all table our issues and we will dialogue. Now that they are not here; what shows that they can support us. They were supposed to be here so far us food security is concerned” he noted.

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