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DALEX Finance empowers 10,000 Rice Farmers

Accra, June 30, GNA
– Dalex Finance and Leasing Company Limited has rolled-out agricultural
financing boosting package to empower over 10,000 Rice farmers in Northern
Ghana.

The DALEX
Agricultural Financing Boosting funds would be used to provide farming inputs –
fertilizer, improved seeds, and combined harvesters to ensure prompt and
efficient harvesting of the rice.

Mr Kenneth Kwamina
Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of DALEX who unveiled the package explained
that DALEX would continue to explore profitable and sustainable model for funding
small-holder farmers who were the bedrock of Ghana’s agricultural sector.

He further called on
other financial institutions to follow the example of DALEX  to support the Agricultural sector.

He said DALEX is
working in partnership with Shinkaafa Buni Rice Farmers Association (SHINKAAFA
BUNI) “We are mining the value chain by also engaging Avnash Rice Mill, who
guaranteed to purchase the rice from the farmers.”

Mr Ken Thompson also
called on the Ministry of Agriculture to expedite action to avert the looming
disaster posed by the Army Worm.

He indicated that
the Army Worm had been found in the Eastern, Brong- Ahafo, Ashanti and Western
Regions, and since 2016, had destroyed more than 5,870 hectares of maize,
cowpea and cocoa. “The effect of these pests could be worse than the ‘biblical
plague of locusts’ if unchecked”.

Mr Nbanty Dagbanja,
a rice farmer from Dagbanjado and beneficiary of the DALEX Agricultural
Financing Boosting package commended SHINKAAFA and DALEX for providing the
seeds that had improved their yields, for the chemicals and fertilizers, and
for the harvesting services which had improved the prosperity of his fellow
farmers.

Mr Akshay Sharma,
Chairperson of SHINKAAFA BUNI and Head, Northern Region, Avnash Industries
outlined some of the challenges of Milling Rice in Ghana.

He noted: “The local
paddy (raw material) prices are too expensive, as the yields per acre achieved
by the farmers generally in Ghana was as low as 800 Kg/ acre compared to
minimum of 2.4 MT / acre internationally in Thailand, Vietnam, India, USA, and Pakistan.

“The prices of local
rice therefore becomes uncompetitive with imported rice.”

Mr Sharma supported
the “One village – One Dam” proposal because of the potential of irrigation in
raising even higher the yields of the local rice farmer.

Mr Samuel Sarpong,
Executive Director of SHINKAAFA explained that the company had strengthened the
rice sector by engaging the farmers at community level.

He said the
partnership with DALEX was part of their mission to develop sustainable models
for finance to assist the smallholder farmer.

The DALEX
Agricultural Finance Boosting package offered credit facilities to farmers over
the innovative Dalex SWIFT mobile platform (*721#).

The SWIFT platform
gave subscribers access to investment and savings services.

Farmers received
their payments through mobile money and then can make deposits into their
investment accounts and have real-time access to their account balances whiles
SWIFT provided call centre support in Dagbani.

GNA

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