12 December 2012

Ghana: GAWU Initiates Revolving Loan Scheme for Rural Farmers

The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its partners are putting in place a revolving loan scheme to support rural farmer groups.

Mrs. Emelia Ghansah, the Project Coordinator, told the GNA in Accra that the concept of revolving loans was borne out of the Union's desire to establish a rural bank or saving and loan scheme to give flexible loans to farmers.

She said for this to materialise it was necessary for the Union to put in place mechanisms for Self Employed Rural Workers to develop a savings habit and to help each other financially hence the revolving loan training workshop in all 49 project communities.

Mrs. Ghansah said one key reason for the initiative was to foster trust among the farmer groups since they would guarantee for each other in the collection of loans.

She said the introduction of the loan scheme could encourage some farmers to take up non-farm economic activities in line with the country's medium term agricultural investment plan to start up their own venture.

Mrs. Ghansah said interactions with farmers had shown that access to finance and credit was a major obstacle for them to produce more.

She said among other challenges has been their inability to access finance to purchase chemicals and equipment for cultivation as well as the expansion of the farm lands.

Mrs. Ghansah said the rural farmer groups had learnt a lot through their membership of the Union and are looking forward to being supported to expand their farms or embark on non-farm economic activities.

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