Business News of Thursday, 31 May 2012
Women entrepreneurs in the Tamale Metropolis have appealed to the Government to make credit facilities tailored to the needs of women, affordable and available to ensure the survival of their businesses.
The women, most of who engage in Agro-processing, also complained about low patronage of their wares as a result of diminishing marketing opportunities.
These concerns were raised in Tamale on Thursday at an awareness creation forum on the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), organised by ActionAid Ghana, an NGO.
The forum which was mainly attended by women processors of shea butter, rice, groundnut paste and oil and dawadawa, was to educate and inform them about economic opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Mr. Zakaria Fuseini, Tamale Metropolitan Deputy Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), said there were many credit facilities available to women groups in the sector through the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), and challenged them to form groups to access them.
He said some women had equally been supported by other pro-poor policies of the government and mentioned the Livestock Development Project where some women had been given sheep in kind.
Mr. Fuseini suggested that for women to enjoy the full benefits of their productivity, they needed to build their skills through skills acquisition programmes; noting that, about two women in the Metropolis were prospering after receiving training in the processing of fresh milk into yoghurt.
Miss Abdulai Duriyu, an Official of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), said her outfit had over the years supported over 10,000 individuals most of whom were women in financial and non-financial services.
She said the NBSSI in collaboration with some financial institutions have extended credit facilities to women groups in addition to technical advice and counseling to people who were interested in business ventures.
Miss Duriyu however lamented that, due to low recovery rate on loans, the NBSSI had stopped giving direct credits to individuals but could facilitate the process for business to grow.**