The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has supported the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative with GH¢100 million.
The amount will be in the form of credit facilities and working capital loans to enable agro-inputs to get to beneficiary farmers under the programme.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the bank, Dr John Mensah, in a speech that was read on his behalf by his deputy, Mr Alhassan Yakubu-Tali at the launch of the Rearing for Food and Jobs” (RFJ) programme in Wa last Monday.
He explained that “Since the launch of the planting for food and jobs initiative in 2017, the bank has assisted hard working farmers who participated in the programme to expand their operations to transit into successful commercial farms by providing the necessary support needed,” he added.
Financing fertiliser suppliers
Dr Mensah said aside supporting the PFJ and the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), the bank had played an active role in the implementation by financing fertiliser and seed suppliers under the programme to be disbursed to farmers.
‘’We provided a platform free of charge to collect 50 per cent down payment from farmers to enable them to access seeds and fertilisers and provided the same platform for the collection of the remaining 50 per cent input cost after harvesting,’’ he emphasised.
On the RFJ programme, Dr Mensah lauded the initiative, adding that it was intended to boost the production of meat in the country, change the mind-set of citizens and rekindle interest in the rearing of livestock on a large scale as a way of creating jobs and ensuring self-sufficiency in the area of meat production.
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“The initiative came after the success story of the novel PFJ programme which has led to the creation of thousands of jobs, increased food production in the country and has also made it possible for us to even export to some of our neighbouring countries,” he added.
Dr Mensah disclosed that the bank was in discussions to finance the Modernised Cattle Farming Industry Project (MCFIP), a private cattle farming initiative being undertaken in the Afram Plains with the aim of improving cattle farming in the country.
The project, when fully implemented, would reduce the nation’s budget for meat and dairy importation, adding that it would provide thousands of jobs as the project would be replicated in other regions and also avert the perennial tension and conflicts between fulanis and indigenes.