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16.11.2005 Business & Finance

ADB to disburse three trillion cedis to farmers

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Hohoe, Nov.16, GNA - The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has set aside three trillion cedis for disbursement as loans to farmers' co-operative groups for the 2006/7 fiscal year.

Mr. Johnson Gborglah, Human Resource Manager of the bank, announced this on Tuesday at Hohoe.

He was addressing a Farmers Forum as part of an outreach programme to mark the 40th anniversary celebration of the bank. Mr. Gborglah said beneficiary groups were expected to form farmers co-operatives that undertake activities in any four agricultural productive sectors including livestock and food crops. He said the gesture would encourage farmers to venture into full-scale production and guarantee food security. Mr. Gborglah paid tribute to hardworking farmers for their support, which had sustained the bank among many specialized banks, which were now defunct.

He said four of the 46 branches of the bank nationwide could be found in the Volta Region, therefore, clients of the bank should be prepared for the innovative and client friendly product to be introduced soon.

Mr. John-Peter Amewu, Hohoe District Chief Executive noted that despite the social and economic achievements of the bank, its high interest rates continued to deter farmers from deriving maximum benefits from their operations.

He therefore, called for reduction of the bank's interest rates to make their services more affordable to their clientele. Mr Amewu advised management of the bank to make customer relations an integral part of its operations and urged loan defaulters to pay them back to enable others benefit.

During the open forum, the farmers complained about insecure land tenure system, lack of marketing infrastructure, poor transport and road network, poor access to credit and technical advice and low use of improved input as issues affecting their efficient and effective operations.

They said the bank's focus and preference had shifted to salaried workers and were paying little attention to their clients engaged in agriculture.

Mr. Prosper Ametefe, a farmer said his application for loan about four months ago had not been fulfilled although he had satisfied all requirements to be granted the loan.