Financial Institutions Must Fund Agric Sector- Dalex CEO


Financial Institutions Must Fund Agric Sector- Dalex CEO

Kenneth Thompson, Chief Executive of Dalex Finance has called on financial Institutions operating in the country to invest in the Agricultural sector.

According to him the active involvement of the financial institutions in the sector will not only grow the sector but create employment for the youth.

Mr. Thompson who was speaking at a press conference in Accra to reveal Dalex’s investment in rice farming, said “There is money in agric. There is risk but investing in agric is very good because that is where the growth is. The institutions must get in there and invest”.

Dalex Finance has partnered with Shinkaafa Buni Rice Farmers Association to provide credit to over 10, 000 rice farmers in the Northern Region.

The Funds will be used to provide farming inputs such as fertilizer, improved seeds and combined harvesting of the rice.

Touching on the Dalex rice farmers program, Mr. Thompson set out the pride of Dalex in finding a profitable and sustainable model for funding small-holder farmers who are the bedrock of Ghana’s agricultural sector.

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He urged other financial institutions to follow the lead of Dalex and fund the agric sector, stating “It can be done. Shinkaafa is a for-profit organization and we are mining the value chain by also engaging Avnash Rice Mill, who guarantee to purchase the rice from the farmers”.

Mr. Thompson also called on the Ministry of Agriculture to expedite action to avert the looming disaster posed by the Army Worm, indicating that the Army Worm has been found in the Eastern, Brong Aharfo, Ashanti and Western regions.

“Since 2016, the Army Worms have destroyed more than 5,870 hectors of Maize, Cowpea and Cocoa. The effect of these pests could be worse than the ‘bliblical plague of locust’ if unchecked”, he said.

Nbanty Dagbanja, a rice farmer from Dagbanjado in the Northern region and a beneficiary of the credit program commended Shikaafa and Dalex for providing the seeds that had improved their yields and for the chemicals and fertilizers as well as the harvesting services which has improved the prosperity of his fellow farmers.

Akshay Sharma, Chairperson of Shikaafa Buni touched on the challenges of Milling Rice in Ghana, stating “The local paddy (raw material) prices are too expensive, as the yields per acre achieved by the farmers generally in Ghana is as low as 800kg/acre compared to minimum of 2.4mt/acre internationally in Thailand, Vietnam, India, USA, and Pakistan.”

He supported the ‘one village, on dam’ policy of government because of the irrigation in raising even higher the yields of the local farmer.

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