Farmers need low interest loans; not just specialized banks – David Korboe

The 2009 National Best Farmer, Davies Korboe, says there is no point in establishing a specialized bank to lend to the agricultural sector if farmers cannot have access to low-interest loans.

Mr. Korboe, speaking at the Citi FM’s Operation Feed Yourself agribusiness forum on Saturday argued that people involved in the agricultural value chain need a cheaper source of credit, and there is no guarantee a specialized bank would do that.

He stated that what is rather needed is a special purpose vehicle that would ensure people involved in agribusiness access cheap credit which should not cost more than 9 percent in interest.

He added that while the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project (GIRSAL) has been designed to mitigate the risk in lending to agribusinesses, that is not enough, and the government would have to complement such efforts.

Mr. Korboe said the special purpose vehicle would ensure that farmers especially would get the needed capital to invest and expand their farms.

About the programme

The programme was outdoored by the Managing Director of Citi FM and Citi TV Samuel Attah-Mensah as part of activities marking the 15th anniversary of Citi FM.

“We are talking about people who are not farmers, middle-income earners, tertiary students and people who are in the urban areas to look at farming and agribusiness as another means to generate revenue, compliment the revenues and basically to feed themselves,” he explained.

It features various resource persons in agribusiness such as consultants, agencies, institutions and agribusiness firms to assist participants to plug into the agribusiness industry and the opportunities within.

General Manager of Citi FM and Citi TV, Bernard Avle, who is the moderator for the event in an opening remark assured patrons of an insightful engagement to enable them venture into agribusiness.

The project takes inspiration from the famous agricultural program administered in Ghana under military General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong in 1978.

It is expected that the project would result in abundant food for local consumption and processing, job creation and opportunities for import substitution as well as making the sector attractive again.

The programme is also meant to prepare participants to enable them to start their agribusiness journeys.

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