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24.03.2005 Regional News

Farmers urged to form credit groups

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Accra, March 24, GNA - Action Aid International-Ghana on Thursday urged farmers to form groups that would enable them to access credit facilities from financial institutions to enhance farming.

Mr Ohemeng Adjei, Program Manager, Action Aid International-Ghana, said if farmers came together, they would form a strong mouthpiece that could influence policy and attract credit easily.

Addressing farmers in the Ga District at the end of a three-day advocacy workshop in Accra, he said Action Aid was prepared to assist farmers to constitute networks that would lead them to access credits and eventually improve their standard of living.

The workshop, which was organized by the Department of Co-operatives in the Ga District with support from Action Aid International-Ghana, was aimed at educating farmers in the district on the need to form advocacy groups.

About 10 representatives of farmers, who participated in the workshop, were tutored on effective advocacy, understanding policy processes, developing advocacy implementation plan and message development, among other subjects.

Mr Adjei noted that although Action Aid was committed to eradicating poverty at all levels, it did not respond to the direct needs of individuals.

He, however, called on community-based organisations, nongovernmental organisations (NGO) and others to consider the NGO as a partner in development and approach it for necessary assistance. Mr P. K. Antwi, Greater Accra Regional Co-operatives Officer, told the farmers to add value to their products, create storage facilities and locate ready markets.

He advised the farmers to ensure that loans they sourced from financial institutions were paid back to build trust between them and their creditors.

The farmers observed that the absence of credit facilities had resulted in low productivity particularly in the Ga District. They also noted that sand-winning activities had reduced soil fertility and called on the appropriate authorities to redress the problem.

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