15th to 19th October 2012. Accra, Ghana. The 18th African Rural and Agriculture Credit Association (AFRACA) General Assembly and technical workshop was hosted by the AFRACA vice Chairperson; the Bank of Ghana.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Millison Narh at the opening ceremony of AFRACA conference, raised concern about the continuous decline of the sub-Saharan international export.
He said “the value chain process which includes input supply, producers, processors and buyers can be sustained through innovation projects such as introduction and improved access to suitable agric technologies and credit facilities; availability of appropriate incentives for farmers and traders and integration of these new technologies and practices into their activities and investment plans.”
He indicated that in order to further enhance the value chain system towards successful innovation, there should be a focus on establishing an agriculture commodity market, creating a warehousing research system, provision of storage devices to reduce or eliminate post harvest losses, and embracing the co-operatives concept which has emerged as the best tool to help rural small-scale producers to overcome many challenges that confront them.
He added that the provision of relevant training programmes for agric sector workers and a revision of the land tenure system to give access to arable lands for productive use would also contribute to enhancing the industry.
He also called on African governments and policy makers to make appropriate policy interventions which would entail infrastructure development and appropriate training opportunities for farmers, and make fiscal incentives available for financial institutions who are focusing on agric lending.
Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu, Zambia’s Deputy Governor in charge of Operations, encouraged AFRACA to compliment its training and policy programme initiatives with further research into the issue of inadequate access to finance and how avenues such as linkage banking may assist in fostering rural development.