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04.07.2005 Regional News

NGO grants loans to farmers

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Techiman, July 04, GNA - Mr Magnus Amoah-Bosompem, the Executive Director of Ecumenical Church Loan Fund Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), at the weekend said the Fund disbursed 1.5 billion cedis as loans to 700 farmers and 500 traders in the Brong-Ahafo Region between January and June.

Speaking at the opening of the first branch office of the Fund in Techiman, the Executive Director said 1.3 billion cedis would soon be disbursed to about 350 farmers at the end of this month. The Fund presented a cheque of 66.6 million cedis to Adom Farmers Association of Buoyem, the amount if cashed, would be distributed to 36 members and a cheque of 429 million cedis for 560 members of the Christian Mothers Association at the ceremony. Each beneficiary would receive amounts ranging from five million cedis to 10 million cedis for agro farming activities and the loan would be paid within 10 months.

Mr Amoah-Bosompem said the Fund would seek to enhance clients' business acumen and skills through training and to increase accessibility to fair credits.

He said the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund operated in co-operation with other Christian organizations and affiliated members of the Christian Council.

Mr Amoah-Bosompem said the Fund, founded in 1977, as a private Company, is a non-governmental, non-political, non-banking and non-profit making micro financial institution that is part of a global foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in an address read for him, appealed to chiefs to help solve chieftaincy disputes in Techiman to allow NGOs to freely operate and invest the region. He expressed the Regional Coordinating Council's concern about the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the region and the spate of armed robbery cases and urged traditional rulers to help curb them.

Dr King David Amoah, the National Director of Ecumenical Association of Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD), said the opening of the office in Techiman was the outcome of a workshop jointly organised by the Fund and ECASARD aimed at assisting farmers engaged in small-scale farming and trading.

Mr Addai Simons, MP for Techiman South, lauded the opening of the Fund's branch office, saying it would help traders at Techiman market to extricate themselves from the poverty cycle.

Nana Kwaw Adams, Twafohene of Forikrom and National Chairman of ECASARD, said ECASARD was operating in seven regions and had networked with 141 NGOs and community based organizations.

Nana Baffour Asare Twi-Brempong, Adontenhene of Techiman Traditional Area, appealed to the Fund not to limit the loan facility to members of churches and educational institutions but also to include small and medium traders and farmers. 5 July 05