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Access EDAIF, Prez. Mahama asks agric workers and entrepreneurs

President John Mahama, has encouraged rural entrepreneurs and Agricultural workers to access the Export Development and Agricultural Investment fund , EDAIF as a short term measure in cushioning their businesses.

He said what government will have to do is to enforce an environment of fiscal discipline to cut down inflation and bring down interest rates to allow banks offer loan facilities to farmers.

President Mahama, was answering a question regarding the difficulties Ghanaian farmers face accessing loan facilities from Banks at the 38th session of the IFAD Governing Council in Rome,Italy.

GBC’s Correspondent Pascaline Adadevoh who is in Rome reports that after delivering his keynote address to open the 38th session of the Governing Council of IFAD, President Mahama was joined by the President of IFAD to address a press conference.

A lot of questions came up bordering on investing in rural agriculture, access to soft loans by farmers and what leaders can do to sustain agriculture growth. In Ghana, governments have invested largely in the Agriculture sector which still remains the mainstay of the economy.

Beyond this there is still the huge issue of access to micro finance by even Agriculture oriented banks to farmers.

President Mahama, is aware of this worrying trend but encourages rural household farmers to patronise the amended EDAIF fund, which is rolling out innovative funding to Agriculture workers

Ghana’s GDP growth in Agriculture currently is five percent annually. This is low compared to previous years. Could it be the lack of investment in that in that area? President Mahama, explains that the decline is because there are other sectors of the economy equally competing with the Agriculture sector.

The President of IFAD Kanayo Nwanze, continually commended Ghana’s role in Rural transformation. He said it is because government after government have made made it a policy to build on efforts already made. To him, sustained agriculture policies, which include resourcing small holder farmers with the requisite tools and funds can only work with a sense of continuity and leadership at the highest political level

Government is currently waiting for Parliament approval for a 36 million dollar Ghana Agricultural Sector Improvement Programme. This will support farmers to expand by venturing into Rice production and other commodities which the country imports at very high cost.


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