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20.09.2004 Regional News

Make agriculture loans accessible and attractive for farmers

By GNA

Kumasi, Sept 20, GNA- Nana Abena Gyamfua, the Ejisu-Juaben Queen Farmer, has appealed to commercial banks to make loans more accessible and attractive to farmers.

This, she said, was necessary to help them expand their farms to boost crop production and raise their living standards. Nana Gyamfua made the appeal after being sworn into office by the Ashanti Regional Executive of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA) at a ceremony in Kumasi on Monday. Aged 53, the new Queen Farmer owns several hectares of cocoa farm, an oil palm plantation and a citrus farm at Nobewam near Konongo. She described the procedure for granting credit facilities by the banks as most "frustrating and a disincentive".

Nana Gyamfua noted that there were many young farmers who if given the necessary financial push could grow to become big time farmers. "Farming these days is rewarding and conditions must therefore be so created to encourage the youth into it", she added.

Nana Kwame Amankwatia, the Regional Chief Farmer, stressed the need for farmers to maintain a strong and a united front. He said it was only through this that they could speak with one voice and protect their interest at all times.

Nana Amankwatia renewed the call on farmers to monitor insecticides and other inputs supplied by the government for the cocoa mass spraying exercise in their areas to prevent any diversion or pilfering.

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