Banks must drop their 32% interest rate on farmer loans – Chief Farmer

Vegetable farmers in Northern Ghana

Few days to this year’s Farmers Day on Friday, December 7 at the Alhaji Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale, the 2010 2nd Best Farmer has called for a reduction of interest rates on loans farmers’ contract.

According to Mr. Maxwell Akadam, the high interest rates, banks charge farmers ranging from 29 percent to 32 percent are high for the farmers making investors to shy away from the sector.

“When farmers go in for credit from banks, they struggle to make profit. Even those who break-even have to carry a larger part of the funds to the banks making farmers work for them perpetuating a cycle of poverty,” Mr. Akadam submitted.

He added if the call for strong men and women to venture into farming was not lip service, sector regulators must impress on the banks to bring down the cutthroat interest rates.

The National Farmers Day in Ghana is celebrated on the first Friday of December each year to recognise the contributions of farmers and fishers in the country. The holiday is designed to pay respect to the importance of the farming and fishing industry in the socio-economic growth of Ghana.

This year’s celebration being hosted by the Northern Regional Coordinating Council is expected to have President Nana Akufo-Addo in session. It’s under the theme: “Agriculture: Moving Ghana beyond Aid.”

The 34th Farmers Day celebrations have seen donations from corporate entities including Ghana Cement, LK International Company-Ghana, Super Maritime Ghana, Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

The category of sponsorship includes:

(i) Major Partner = GHc10,000 and above

(ii) Diamond Sponsor = GHc5,000 and above

(iii) Gold Sponsor = GHc3,000 and above.

By Michael Eli Dokosi