GAPTO URGE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO EMBRASS RISK IN THE AGRIC SECTOR
The Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization (GAPTO) has urged financial institutions in the country, not to run away from the risks involved in investing in agriculture.
According to the association, financial institutions should rather absorb these risks and offer tailored solutions to address them by providing support through the construction of modernize irrigation systems.
Speaking in an interview on the programme “Time with C.E.O's with Owuriku Asamoah” on Rite FM in Somanya, the Secretary General of GAPTO, Mr. Haruna Agesheka said agriculture is risky in the country because of the rain fed nature of the sector.
Mr. Agesheka said the over dependence on rainfall especially in farming has made some of products of agriculture unprofitable due to lean seasons and lack of processing and storage facilities.
“Because we rely on the rains all year round for farming, the banks do not want to give monies to people who are involved in onions, leafy vegetables and tomatoes cultivation since they will not get their profits back at the end of the day”, he said.
The General Secretary said due to this Ghana has to import such produce from Burkina Faso, Niger, Cote d' ivoire and Togo during the lean season “even though Ghana has the same fertile soil land abundance such as these countries”.
He noted that the situation can be reversed “if financial institutions invest heavily in the construction of irrigation dams to increase productivity and sustainance”.
“Banks should not run away from the risks involved in agriculture but rather absorb the risks by ensuring that we have water throughout the whole year to grow our crops, harvest them and pay back the loans they have offered to us”, he added.
He said FAGRO should therefore be supported by financial institutions since it is the avenue through which modern techniques in irrigation systems will be outdoored.
Mr. Agesheka also charged the government to move away from piloting irrigation projects into a full scale implementation.
“It is about time governments do away with the pilot projects on irrigation and go into it deeply to sustain the sector”.