09.05.2005 General News

Upper West Farmers cannot buy tractors

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Wa, May 09, GNA - Farmers in the Upper West Region could not buy tractors the government allocated to farming groups throughout the country due to lack of farming groups.

As a result, they could not organise themselves to take up their regional allocation to enable them increase production. Dr Francis Banka, a former Regional Director of Health, said this at Wa during a meeting of small-scale industries sponsored by Friederich Nuaman Foundation (FNF).

The meeting, which attracted about 30 artisans made up of tailors, dressmakers, mechanic and carpenters, was to offer officials of the Association of Ghana Industries and (FNF) an opportunity to discuss the level of assistance AGI could give the farmers.

Dr Banka said if industries in the region were to make any headway, there was the need for them to form cooperatives and viable associations that could attract financial institutions to give them credit and other assistance since the individuals were too poor to buy implements. He appealed to AGI to set up offices to collaborate with National Board for Small Scale Industries to help the farmers.

Mr John Adzraki, an official of AGI, said AGI was doing its best to dissuade the government from imposing heavy taxes on the small-scale industries.

He said the association had identified funding as a major challenge and the farmers to form viable groups that would encourage them to contract loans.

"We shall also make sure that your produce would attract good market, meanwhile you also need to come out with good quality products that will be in high demand". Mr Stephen Bemile, the Senior Programmes officer of FNF, said they would continue to facilitate their activities to ensure that they were economically independent.

He pledged the support of the foundation to build the capacities of the people through workshops, conferences and other training programmes.

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