MASLOC Offers Farmers GH¢ 161,160.00 To Increase Cultivation
By Alfred Dogbey
The Managing Director of the Ayensu Starch Company Limited, James Biitir has complained about the insufficient supply of cassava to the factory, which he said was holding back regular production.
Mr. Biitir lamented that, ideally the company should be receiving 400 tonnes of cassava for daily production, however, only half – which is btween150 to 200 tonnes is what the factory is able to get from the farmers.
The insufficient supply of raw materials, the manager noted, was heavily disrupting operations and in some instances, have to shut down production. This situation, Mr. Biitir said is hindering the visibly “very viable” company to meet its target of producing more starch for export.
He made the disclosure when the management of Micro Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), under the Office of the President, last Wednesday stunned cassava farmers at Ayensu in the Central Region by supporting them with a loan of GH¢161,160.00 to increase their cassava cultivation business.
At a short ceremony held at the premises of Ayensu Starch Company Limited, Sedina Christine Attionu –Tamakloe, disclosed that the money was to enable the farmers who are in Associations to expand production, in order to supply more raw materials to the Ayensu Starch Factory to meet its daily production requirement.
The money was presented through Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) cheque, which was handed over to the cassava Farmers Association Vice-President, Samuel Boateng, in the presence of his colleague.
The presentation was done by the CEO of MASLOC, Mrs. Attionu-Tamakloe –led together with her deputy, Mustapha Abubakar and other senior staff.
According to her, the loan was in fulfillment of MASLOC’s aim to help the poor and marginalized in the society by assisting them with the capacity to access loans to expand their businesses.
She mentioned that the purpose of her outfit was to assist government in reducing poverty in both rural and urban communities, by way of supporting small scale businesses.
She said, her outfit was also helping individuals on how to access loans from other financial institutions across the country.
The MASLOC boss, also disclosed that management was working on providing the farmers with mini tricycles and other farm equipment that would facilitate conveying the cassava from the farm to the starch factory.
On the shortage of raw materials, the MASLOC boss was hopeful that, with the support received by the farmers, the company’s difficulties in getting adequate cassava by traveling as far as to Nkwanta in the Volta and parts of Western Regions in search for cassava for production, would be a thing of the past.
Madam Sedina Attinou, appealed to the farmers to use the loan for the purpose for which it was given them in making sure that the loan would be refunded on time for others in other parts of the country who are facing similar challenges with their businesses to also get the opportunity to access the facility.
The Ayensu farmers currently have over 58-acres farm size and employ over three hundred workers, who are working on the various block farms.