2008-05-27 20:12:14This article has been read 819 times.
Mustapha Idris Ali
The Northern Regional Minister has appealed to banks to assist farmers in northern Ghana with loans and other credit facilities.
He said: "These facilities would enable the farmers to increase their acreages to avert food shortage in the three northern regions this year".
Alhaji Idris said last year’s drought and floods inundated large tracks of farm lands, destroying crops and planting materials. "Most of the farmers would therefore have nothing to crop their farms if they do not get any assistance".
The Regional Minister said this when the Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana, Mr Darren Schemmer, paid a courtesy call on him in Tamale.
Mr Schemmer is on a two-day working visit to the Northern Region to inspect Canadian-funded projects and would also visit the Upper East Region.
Alhaji Idris said most of the farmers also depleted their food stocks through the feeding of large numbers of their extended families who had moved in to stay with them in the wake of the floods.
He said in the 1970’s the banks, especially the Agricultural Development Bank, assisted a lot of farmers in the north with loans that helped them to increase food production, particularly rice.
He expressed regret that the banks were now apprehensive to go to the assistance of farmers.
Alhaji Idris appealed to the Canadian High Commissioner to consider working out a scheme where farmers in the three regions could be assisted to own tractors.
He called on micro-credit institutions to provide credit facilities to female farmers to go into vegetable cultivation to supplement their family incomes.
Mr. Schemmer commended the government for its decentralisation policy which, he said, effectively put development in the hands of the people.
On the December general election, the High Commissioner said Ghana had already chalked successes in the conduct of elections in the past and the whole world was looking forward to another transparent, fair, free and peaceful election.