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29.11.2005 Business & Finance

ADB agricultural funds idling in Upper West Region

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Wa, Nov. 29, GNA - Farmers in the Upper West Region are not making use of the agricultural funds provided by the Agricultural Development Bank for farmers in the region this year.

One billion, seven hundred million cedis out of the total of 4.8 billion cedis approved by the bank cannot be disbursed because there are no applicants for the facility.

The recovery rate for the loans has also not been encouraging, as most of the farmers have failed to meet their deadlines. Mr Adam Sulley, Head of Corporate and Customer Relations of ADB announced this in Wa, during the 40th Anniversary celebration of Farmers Forum in Wa on Tuesday.

Mr Sulley, however, blamed the farmers' inability to make use of funds to ignorance about the facility and called on agricultural extension officers at various levels to intensify their educational programmes on the facility, so that they could use that to improve their lots.

He said ADB had drawn up a three-year development plan in which every region would be given the support to produce livestock and food crops according to areas of comparative advantage. The Head of Corporate and Customer relations said 3 trillion cedis had been earmarked for the project throughout the country. He said the Upper West was doing well in cashew and livestock production and urged them to take advantage of the facility to increase their production levels for the benefit of everybody there. Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister advised beneficiaries of the ADB loan scheme to repay their loans promptly, so that others could also benefit from it.

He said the government would continue to access and develop facilities that would encourage so many people into farming and to also reduce the burden on the non-existent white-collar jobs in the country. Mr Dery also encouraged farmers to consider taking loans from the banking institutions rather than taking them from individual moneylenders, who were likely to exploit them through higher lending interests rates. Mr Emmanuel Eledi, Regional Director of Ministry of food and Agriculture promised to carry out projects that would make farmers comfortable and productive in society.

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