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23.04.2004 Regional News

Farmers in Agona receive one billion cedis credit facility

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Agona Akwakwaa (C/R), April 23, GNA- Farmers, Traders and some women groups engaged in income-generating activities have received over one billion cedis as credit facility from the Agona District Assembly since the NPP Government was voted into power.

Mr John Kwesi Agyabeng, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Agona who announced this at the inauguration of the Akwakwaa branch of the Agricultural Producers Council (APC), regretted, however, that only 25 percent of the loans disbursed, had been recovered.

He said if persuasion failed, the District Assembly would institute court action against the defaulters.

He reminded the beneficiaries that the credit facility was a revolving fund, and that they must pay back for others to enjoy.

He more credit facilities had been created by the government this year, especially for women groups, to expand their income-generating activities.

He urged farmers to cooperate with officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to teach them modern methods of farming, in order to increase their output.

Mr Agyabeng said marketing of their produce should be the prime concern of farmers to avoid cheating from middlemen from the cities who dictated their own prices.

The DCE announced that during the cocoa season last year, the district produced 4,500 metric tonnes of cocoa amounting to 40 billion cedis.

He said research had shown that only 20 percent of this amount was saved with the banks in the district, and advised the farmers to cultivate the habit of saving to enable them to qualify for financial assistance.

Mr Agyabeng urged the farmers to patronise made in Ghana goods to help the economy to grow.

Mr Tony Fofie, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Agronomy and Quality Control Division of the Cocobod, urged the youth to enter into farming so that they could take over from their ageing parents. On the mass spraying exercise, Mr Fofie said it had increased the production of cocoa in the past two and half years.

He reminded cocoa farmers that the exercise was free of charge, and therefore urged them to report spraying gangs who extorted monies from them for action.

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