The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has disbursed about GH¢300,000 in soft loans to 19 members of the Ashanti Regional Poultry Farmers Association.
It brings to 50 the number of poultry farmers in the region who have received financial support from the centre to enhance their operations.
The beneficiary farmers received between GH¢10,000 and GH¢20,000 at 12 per cent interest rate per annum.
Speaking at the ceremony where cheques were handed over to the farmers last Tuesday, the Ashanti Regional Manager of MASLOC, Hajia Zainab Sallow, said the farmers had an 18-month period to pay back the loan.
She said the farmers had been allowed a grace period of six months, which is an extension on the one-year repayment due date.
Hajia Sallow commended the leadership of the association and the first batch of poultry farmers who benefited from the facility for paying back their loans.
She said because the loans were paid promptly, the centre would undertake a reassessment of the farms of the beneficiaries, after which it might double the initial loans they were given.
She singled out the poultry farmers from Mampong, who she said opened an account into which “all eight members of the association in the district deposited their repayment cheques at the end of each month”.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of MASLOC said so far there had been a marked improvement in the repayment of loans secured from the centre.
She said the rate of repayment was between 85 and 87 per cent and described it as very encouraging.
Hajia Sallow attributed the improved situation to an educational campaign the centre embarked on to get the farmers to understand that loans from the centre were not free money from the government but facilities meant to be repaid, so that many others could also benefit.
The Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Boris Baidoo, who instigated the loan facility for members, said it would go a long way to assist them to produce enough to meet the local market demand.
He said poultry farmers in the country were ready to live up to expectation when given the necessary support.
He called for a reversal of the country’s high dependency on foreign poultry imports.
“We have the capacity and are ready to produce to meet local demand; we just need support to achieve that,” he said.
He said local importers of frozen poultry need not worry that they would be pushed out of business; instead, they should support the local poultry farmers to produce healthy and tasty chicken for the domestic market.
He further encouraged importers of frozen poultry, saying: “If local farmers produce chicken and other poultry products in high quantities, we will rely on you to do the supply and so we are not here to kick you out of business.”
Source: General News