FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

Gambia: Agricultural Lending Programme Workshop Held

The agricultural lending programme held a workshop at the Wellingara horticultural garden centre, on Tuesday 3rd December 2012. The workshop was meant for agricultural business partners in developing agricultural programmes through farmers, credit unions and field trip visitors.

The programme was geared to sensitize participants on adult learning principles.

Adult learning methodologies, value chain approach to agricultural finance and matching VISACA products with financing needs along the value chain.

Mr. Lamin Fatajo, the project coordinator for the rural finance service coordinator RFS, highlighted very important issues regarding the agricultural lending programme which he said is a special design for agricultural guides for microfinance credit.

Mr. Fatajo told participants that they want agricultural expansion in the country to be developed. He then urged them to look on to this for agricultural classification to micro finance Agencies which is synonymous to finance, a key factor.

He said the micro finance institution was achieved way back in 1980. Fatajo said they would facilitate these loans and will make a follow up; that GAWFA NACCUG and VISACAS to come with a pilot plan before the end of the plan.

Fatajo added that they want to see how they expand and how they monitor on this loans or majority of this loans.

He said the other expansion is to see change, how they will disburse credit not only for agriculture credit but a credit which is part of an agriculture product.

Patricia Kanyerere, a Ugandan from 'friends consult' explained the importance of sharing ideas, sharing experiences among each other during the workshop. She went on to mention the importance of agriculture in Africa as she said majority of Africans depend on agriculture. She said where she comes from, 80 percent of the population is involved in agriculture and the about 75 percent are involved in the Gambia.

Africa, she said, should be able to operate a viable agricultural lending operation, and dilated on issues of value chain and agricultural challenges.

Before the end of the workshop, participants are expected to know the Agricultural loan policies and procedures, overview of the agricultural lending cycle, application and screening, loan appraisal, loan approval contracting and documentation and monitoring and follow-up.

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