Farmers at Dorbor community and its environs in the Banda District of the Brong-Ahafo Region have appealed for the establishment of a micro-finance company in the area.
According to the farmers, they had to travel several kilometres to Banda-Ahenkro or Nsawkaw to deposit monies derived from their economic activities because there was no financial institution at Dorbor, the second largest community in the District.
This situation, the about 100 registered farmers who had form five separate farmer groups in the area said, was a huge problem which needed to be attended to.
Mr Joseph K Yeboah, spokesman for the farmers told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on the sideline of a farmer’s forum at Dorbor, that most of the farmers were willing to do business with any credible micro-finance company.
Save Environment Foundation (SEF), an NGO organised the forum, which was attended by more than 150 famers, as part of an 18-month project it is implementing in the area.
Being funded by UNDP, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Small Grant Programme (SGP), the project is aimed at promoting sustainable agro-forest through alley cropping and woodlot establishment on degraded lands in the area.
Mr Yeboah, who is the Assemblyman for the Dorbor Electoral Area explained that within six months the famer groups were able to generate more than GH¢10,000.00 but expressed the discomfort that the cash was kept by leaders of the groups because there was no micro-finance company in the community.
He said each of the farmer groups had collectors who went round to collect cash contributions from individual farmers, adding that the accumulated amount was shared among them within six months period depending on one’s deposit.
Mr Yeboah said many of the farmers had been able to expand their economic activities since they formed the groups indicating that other farmers had also expressed their interest to join the groups.
He said the establishment of a micro-finance facility in the area would spur the farmers to contribute more and access credit to improve on their socio-economic wellbeing.
Mr Collins Osei, the Executive Director of SEF, explained that his outfit supported the farmers to go into groups and do the contributions in line with the project implementation.
He explained that under the project, communities would be assisted with resource development programmes aimed at re-foresting suitable harvested sites, reclaiming degraded woodland, and afforesting denuded lands.
Mr Osei added that women farmers would also be assisted to adopt and practise sustainable livelihoods by introducing and assisting them to rear farm animals.
He observed that with the formation of the famer groups, members could easily access credit facilities from financial institutions to expand their economic activities.