MPs argue over true beneficiaries of loan facility

Members of Parliament on Friday engaged in arguments as to whether a loan facility for farmers was going to benefit the beneficiaries directly or would be used to facilitate their capacity building.

Some members of the Minority New Patriotic Party side, expressed worry that a large chunk of the funds totalling 41.9 million dollars, meant for the Rural and Agricultural Finance Programme (RAFIP) was to be used to build capacity instead of directly benefiting farmers.

The Majority National Democratic Congress, however countered the argument saying, the loan was meant to cover various areas including the building of the capacity of farmers to enable them to access loans.

The issue came up during a debate on a motion for the approval of a six- million- dollar loan agreement between Ghana and the International Fund for Agriculture Development meant to fund RAFIP.

A report of the Finance Committee puts the total cost of the programme at 41.9 million dollars, including taxes and duties and it is expected to cover six years.

The programme is aimed at providing improved and sustainable livelihood to the rural poor who derive their livelihood from agriculture production, especially women and vulnerable groups by improving their access to financial services.

RAFIP would be emphasizing on applying microfinance, developing and piloting suitable savings in collaboration with rural and community banks engaged in supporting agriculture.

The House also approved by resolution, a 12.00 million- dollar loan agreement to procure vehicles for the official use of members of parliament (MPs).

Under the agreement, each MP would be authorized to acquire a means of transport with a maximum value of 50,000 dollars.

Earlier, various papers and reports were laid including the National Stabilisation Levy Bill.

Source: GNA

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