A flagbearer hopeful for the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has called for a new legislation to be enacted to compel banks to lend to people in agric to help propel growth and development.
The former Minister for Food and Agriculture bemoaned the low lending rates to the agriculture sector and said there have been institutional measures put in place to help the sector grow but what is needed to complement that is a legislative instrument that will ensure adequate lending to the sector.
Speaking on Point of View on Citi TV, the two-time Kwadaso lawmaker said the NPP government has laid the foundation for agricultural development by establishing different authorities to deal with the various crops cultivated in Ghana but funding to the farmers that often goes through those authorities are often inadequate making it difficult for the country to reach its targets.
“We have authorities such as the Grains Authority and two other authorities in the pipeline which are the Poultry Authority and the Horticultural Authority and so with additional legislation which will enable the banks to lend to agriculture because agriculture gets only 2.2 percent of our total lending.”
“India and Morocco did it, and they succeeded and if the law is there, it will compel the banks to lend to farmers to increase our productivity,” he added.
Mr. Akoto who is running a campaign prominently featuring agriculture has at every given opportunity called for keen attention to be paid to the sector to complement and eventually wean the country off its current excessive borrowing.
During a public lecture on the theme: “The future of the economy of Ghana” on Monday, March Dr. Afriyie Akoto also envisioned that “agriculture will lift Ghana out of poverty and assure us not only of food security but also generate the necessary resources for the development of the other sectors including industry, health, education and infrastructure in the medium to long term.”