Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie, has stated it will not be a realistic plan for government to provide loans to farmers.
According to him, government is not a financial institution but only serves as an agent to promote development.
In view of this, government puts in place policies that will help the survival of the private sector including banks.
This comes a few days after the Minister lamented efforts by the government to boost the agricultural industry in the country have not yielded the desired results.
This, he explained, was because commercial banks have failed to play their expected roles by giving out substantial loans to farmers.
Dr Akoto said although the government was doing its best to boost food production through price subsidies in agricultural inputs, such as chemicals, the banks had failed to give enough loans to complement that effort.
But speaking on Adom TV’s Badwam, he said government can also not dictate to the banks their scheme of operations.
“In what way can we support farmers. It is not realistic then everyone will say the government should support them with working capital. Government shares in these banks are just a minority except for the commercial banks,” he said.
However, he noted the government would soon get Parliament to come up with legislation to compel commercial banks in the country to allocate 20 per cent of their loan portfolio to farmers.
Audio attached above: