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16.06.2005 Business & Finance

Govt to establish Micro Credit Board


Ntinanko (Ash), June 16, GNA - The government is to establish a micro credit board to oversee the disbursement of micro credit schemes in the country. The aim is to speed up the disbursement of micro credit finances to enable the beneficiaries receive them at the appropriate time.

Mr Ernest Debrah, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, said the establishment of the board would also ensure the decentralisation of the funds to the district level to reduce the processes and the burden beneficiaries, especially farmers, go through when accessing the credit facilities. He was speaking at a durbar of members of the Ntinanko Co-operative Oil Palm Farmers Society at Ntinanko in the Amansie East District on Wednesday as part of his three-day tour of the region. The minister also visited the oil mill that the society had established.

Mr Debrah said government was committed to the development of agriculture to ensure food security and as such it would do everything possible to support farmers to increase productivity. He commended the farmers for the initiative to establish the mills and advised them to take advantage of the President's Special Initiative on Oil Palm to expand their farms. Mr Debrah also pledged to assist them to acquire a tractor for their operations. Mr Debrah also visited the Asuoyeboah Seed Production Station, the Soil Research Institute and the Kwadaso Agric College. He said quality and high yielding seed production was important to increased food production and advised seed growers to adhere strictly to instructions of seed experts.

Mr Debrah assured seed growers that the government was prepared to buy all certified seeds produced by seed growers in the country this year. The aim, he said, was to ensure ready market for their product and also make certified and high yielding seeds available to farmers at all times to improve food production. Mr Samuel Y. Adzivor, Zonal Seed Co-ordinator for Ashanti and Brong Ahafo, said the Ashanti Region was one of the leading seed producers in the country. He expressed concern about the encroachment on land at the seed station by private developers and said their activities were affecting the expansion programmes of the station.

Mr Benjamin Yirenkyi, the National President of Seed Producers Association of Ghana, called for the promulgation of the national seed production law to ensure efficient distribution network of seeds in the country. He said some seed dealers had been bagging grains and selling them to unsuspecting farmers as certified seeds.