announces 25 million-dollar package for farmers
Accra, March 18, Ghanadot/GNA – Ghanaian farmers have an
opportunity to access a 25 million-dollar loan initiated by the
Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an international
non-governmental organization led by former UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan that advocates policies supporting key aspects of
The amount, which is a loan aimed at providing credit at
affordable rates to small holder farmers and agricultural
producers, is expected to help expand opportunities for raising
agricultural productivity, food security, incomes and employment
in targeted countries.
Ghana is among four countries including Mozambique, Uganda and
Tanzania selected for the project.
The programme is being carried out with the support of Standard
Bank, Africa which is providing up to 100 million dollars over a
period of three years.
Mr Kofi Annan, Chairman of AGRA, in a speech before the signing
of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project, noted
that Africa can and should become self-sufficient in food
However, lack of access to finance was a major obstacle that
prevented farmers from investing in basic inputs such as good
seeds, fertilizers and small scale irrigation needed to raise
farm productivity and generate profit, he said.
“Little or no commercial financing has been available to
entrepreneurs seeking to build businesses that could boost
Africa’s food production and enable farmers to earn profit,” Mr
Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, said.
Commenting on the global financial crisis, he said Africans
cannot let the global financial crisis deter them from moving on
as “life continues”.
He said such programmes as the AGRA-Standard Bank initiative
would help increase productivity of small holder farmers in
Africa and ultimately enable Africa to achieve food security and
stability and also improve the entire global outlook.
Mr Annan expressed the hope that there would be insurance
products that would help the farmers to do well.
Mr Kwasi Ahwoi, Minister of Agriculture, who expressed
excitement about the programme, said Ghana and other African
countries had not yet got all the components that went into
making agriculture successful.
“In Ghana, we import almost everything we eat with the exception
of roots and tubers,” he said, and expressed the hope that the
programme would help Ghanaian farmers produce more.
Mr Namanga Ngongi, President of AGRA, said the programme
intended to use structures like farmer-based organizations that
already existed in the four countries to get to the local
Mr Jacko Maree, Chief Executive of the Standard Bank group, said
the bank hoped to play a transformational role in the
agriculture sector in Africa, pointing out; “transforming small
scale farmers into medium sized enterprises is essential to
address the food security situation and stimulate economic
Mr Martin Esoun-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of the
Millennium Development Authority, announced an additional two
million dollars as the organization’s contribution to the