17 October 2016

Bank of Ghana launches initiative to support farmers

Bank of GhanaThe hassle farmers face with financing is expected to ease as the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has finally introduced an initiative to address the challenge.
The project dubbed “the Ghana Incentive–Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) was launched Thursday.

GIRSAL is an Impact Investment Fund which seeks to address financing challenges faced by actors in the agricultural chain.

Speaking at the launch, the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku explained, “this strategy could be seen as a way of diversifying the economy away from over-reliance on oil. Several prominent Ghanaians (including most of you here) have proposed on different platforms the need to avoid the oil resource curse through a conscious diversification strategy.

“Expanding agricultural production is one sure way of doing this, but it crucially depends on the availability of more financing. It is in this regard that using the value chain approach to financing agriculture constitutes an important innovation especially in this modern era.”

Deputy Agric Minister, Dr. Ahmed Alhassan Yakubu, also who was at the event also said the initiative couldn’t have come at a better time because “the various activities in the Agric sector have different financial and risk profiles and the need to access and evaluate them from different prisms is very important.”

He said that is the reason why the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is very excited about GIRSAL and their willingness to support the initiative with BoG’s technical expertise and governance.

Dr Yakubu noted that the sector would benefit immensely from the Central Banks understanding of the various commodity value chains in the country.

Ghana Incentive –Based Risk- Sharing System for Agricultural Lending has six pillars including Technical Assistance facility, Risk sharing facility and Agribusiness Insurance among others.

It is ultimately expected to boost Agric productivity for export, reduce the country’s import bill and ensure substantial foreign exchange savings.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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