‘Ghana’s commercial banks are not sufficiently supporting agri drive’
Ghana’s Minister of Agriculture, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has stated that although the government has been doing its best to boost food production by subsidizing the prices of agricultural inputs, such as chemicals, the banks had failed to give enough loans to complement that effort.
That, according to the minister, had made the prices of foodstuffs and other agricultural produce high on the market. Consequently, the government would soon get Parliament to come up with legislation to compel commercial banks in the country to allocate 20 per cent of their loan portfolio to farmers, he said.
Dr Akoto said to resolve the issue of financial challenges farmers faced, legislation was being sought to compel commercial banks to give out at least 20 per cent of their loan portfolio to farmers. That, he said, would boost food production and at the same time make the prices of food affordable to Ghanaians.
The minister, who spoke passionately about the issue, emphasised that in India, for instance, over the last 30 years, it had been mandatory for banks to allocate a certain amount of their lending money to farmers to support agriculture in that country.
“What we need to do as a country is force commercial banks, through legislation, to allocate resources towards supporting farmers and agriculture as a whole,” he advocated.