Dr Abdul Nasir Issahaku
Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has bemoaned the situation in the country whereby most financial institutions consider the agriculture sector as a high risk venture and neglect it while preparing their budgets.
Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, who was speaking to journalists in Accra recently, averred: “For all the nice stories told about the agriculture sector and its potential for poverty alleviation, it remains the most credit neglected and unfunded sector of the economy.”
According to him, “Despite perceived risk associated with the agriculture sector due its unfavorable review, it is an area highly dear to my heart and I will welcome industry players to consider this promising sector.”
Noting that his outfit would continue to persuade commercial banks to invest in the sector, he said he had convinced them to cede some portions of their annual funds as credits to farmers in the sector.
He observed that even though the sector was seen as a major catalyst that could accelerate economic development, credit to stakeholders in the sector had dwindled over the years due to the high risk associated with the agriculture.
Dr Issahaku stated that the Central Bank’s inflation targeting policy would be greatly improved if the agriculture sector is financed since food inflation is a major component of the inflation basket.
“One of the biggest mandates of the Central Bank is stabilizing prices, which means lowering inflation. We note that [that] has been the contribution of food inflation, and I think it’s important that we consider support to the agric sector as very significant. In this light, the Bank of Ghana in the past has implemented policies that continue to make available more credit to the agriculture sector,” he added.
Dr. Issahaku maintained that the sector could improve the livelihood of the huge number of farmers’ operating in the sector if adequate funding is provided.