Smallholder farmers benefit from US$156m private capital – USAID-Fingap

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Programme (FInGAP) has, since its inception in 2013, attracted more than US$156 million private capital to support smallholder farmers in the country.

USAID-FinGAP’s Deputy Chief of Party, Dr. Victor Antwi who said this at a training programme for journalists in Accra, said the project had benefited more than 160,000 smallholder farmers across Ghana.

The training held for journalists under the theme, ‘Enhancing the capacity of financial journalists on the capital market,’ was organized by USAID-FinGAP and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists.

Dr. Antwi explained that the USAID-FinGAP was a US$22 million, five-year project funded by the US government under the Feed the Future Initiative, a US-government’s global hunger and food security initiative, to help improve agriculture and food security in the country.

“The USAID-FinGAP, among others, provided technical support and advisory services and training to enable the smallholder farmers to secure capital from the equity market,” Dr Antwi said.

The MD of the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) at the Ghana Stock Exchange, David Tetteh urged players in the agribusiness sector to raise funds through the GAX to finance their business operations.

He said the GAX was created to help small and medium scale enterprises raise equities through the Accra bourse to finance their operations.

Companies listed on the GAX, include Hords Limited, Samba Limited, Intravenous Infusions Limited, and Meridian Marshalls Holdings.

Mr. Tetteh lamented that some SMEs use loans (debt capital) to finance their business operations when they could raise money through the GAX, adding that listing on the GAX by SMEs was free.

The President of IFEJ, Rayborn Bulley said the training, was one of the programmes to build the capacity of journalists on capital market issues and how the GAX operate. He entreated the participants to put into use the knowledge they had acquired on the capital market to enhance their work.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe