Stakeholders in the agriculture industry have tasked the government to find tailor-made solutions to the challenges facing small-scale farming in the country.
According to them, although agriculture contributes 20% to Ghana’s GDP, not enough investment is made in the agricultural sector, thereby hindering further progress of the sector.
Some challenges small-scale farmers are faced with include lack of access to credit from banks; gender biases towards women farmers; high operational costs, and poor standards for processing and packaging, among other challenges.
Addressing the media at the 2022 Annual Research and Learning Summit by the Mastercard Foundation in Accra, the Managing Director of Eden Tree Limited, Catherine Krobo Edusei called on government to address their concerns.
“Everyone is talking about credit now, if you are going to borrow money from the bank, the interest rate is way too high. We need long-term loans, not short-term ones. The short term is for importers, however, with farming, there is so much involved. There are so many challenges, so need patient capital.”
“At times as a farmer, you are all alone facing all the challenges, so we need to use coil chain. Energy is very expensive, so we really need assistance,” she added.
Also addressing the media, an agribusiness entrepreneur and farmer, Doris Siibu, stated some challenges she faces as a farmer.
“The challenges I face as a farmer include difficulty accessing land because the place I come from, women do not own lands so there is that difficulty accessing land and there is also high cost of farm input, that has to do with fertilizers and even the seeds and also the issue of high cost of farm machinery and equipment and sometimes it is even difficult to get someone to plaw our lands.”
The program was held by the Master card foundation to address the issues of support for youth-led enterprises in Agricultural Value Chains and was attended by dignitaries such as the Director of Women in Agriculture Development, Programme Manager of Fairtrade Africa, Head of Credit Risk at ARB Apex Bank, among others.