By Albert Futukpor,
Tamale, May 31, GNA – The Bank of Ghana (BoG), is to introduce a crop insurance scheme, for farmers whose crops fail due to natural causes to benefit.
The scheme, which would become operational from this year’s farming season, would be supported by the BoG with an initial fund of 100,000 million Ghana Cedis.
Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru Limuna, Minister of Food and Agriculture, who announced this in Tamale on Monday when launching the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), said the scheme forms part of efforts to manage risks involved in agriculture.
GASIP is to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in rural areas, ensuring that agribusinesses increase their profitability and resilience to climate change.
It is a six-year programme being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and co-financed by the government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development to the tune of 113 million dollars.
Alhaji Limuna said the crop insurance scheme is to encourage banks to give loans to farmers to undertake their agricultural projects as loans, which would be retrieved through the scheme if the crops failed due to natural causes.
He emphasized that “the scheme does not cover intentional or man-made disasters”, warning that farmers who intentionally destroy their crops would not benefit from the scheme.
Alhaji Limuna also announced that tractors and their accessories and combine harvesters, have been imported and are at Tema Port, to be cleared for the cropping season”.
He said 140 out of the 549 tractors and their accessories are also at the Port.
He said government is on course to promoting mechanised.
He also spoke about GASIP saying it forms part of government’s efforts to address challenges facing agriculture to boost production and reduce poverty.
Mr Roy Ayariga, National Programme Coordinator of GASIP said the strategic focus of the programme would be on smallholder farmers.
He said this would make them more competitive by increasing their capacity to respond to market demand in terms of quality, price, time and volume, thus contributing to the objectives of the Medium Term Agricultural Sector Improvement Programme.