[ 2012-06-17 ]
Parliament Approves $9million Loan For Rural Financing Project
Parliament Friday approved a $9 million loan from
the International Fund for Agricultural
Development to support the implementation of the
Rural Finance Programme (RAFIP).
The RAFIP is aimed at providing improved and
sustainable livelihoods to the rural poor,
particularly women and vulnerable groups, by
improving their access to financial services
through enhanced outreach programmes.
To achieve that purpose the loan would be used to
build the capacity of the ARB Apex Bank, rural and
community banks as well as microfinance
The approval of the loan brought sharp division
among Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides
of the House.
MPs who opposed the loan argued that it was
unnecessary for the country to contract a loan to
build the capacity of bank officials before they
would be able to disburse credit facilities to
When the debate on the facility began on Thursday,
the First Deputy Speaker had to defer it to allow
for more consultations.
On Thursday, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for
Okere, Mr Dan Botwe, who expressed strong
reservation about the loan said: “It is not right
for the House to approve a loan to build the
capacity of people to buy suits and ties, at the
expense of the poor farmers”.
The NPP MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankoma, who
drew hilarious laughter in the chamber questioned:
“Why do we contract money for ‘suit and tie
wearing’ staff of financial institutions to be
trained to facilitate the financing of ‘charlie
wote’ wearing farmers”.
But when the debate resume yesterday, the Deputy
Minority Leader, Mr Ambrose Dery, supported the
facility, arguing that the kind of personnel
recruited by the rural and community banks did not
have the requisite capacity to educate farmers who
were given loans to achieve the desired goals.
His assertion was supported by the NPP MP for Wa
West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, who called for the
strengthening of the capacities of staff of the
rural and community banks to enable them to assist
rural farmers to adequately utilise loans.
For his part, a Deputy Minister of Food and
Agriculture, who is also the National Democratic
Congress ( NDC) MP for Kintampo South, Mr Yaw
Effah-Baafi, said studies had shown that rural
banks had been able to make full recovery of
monies advanced to farmers when they had received
“The experience is that where the capacities of
the officials of the banks are built, the recovery
rate of the loan is perfect”, he said.
There was another suggestion that the capacity of
agricultural extension officers should rather be
built instead of bank officials.
Source - Daily Graphic
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