The Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) is negotiating with banks operating in the Northern Region to use their institutions to lend EDAIF’s funds to farmers and agro-processors.
Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, Acting Chief Executive Officer of EDAIF, said the partnership with the banks had become necessary because many of them in the north were not aware of the existence of EDAIF’s credit facility.
He explained that EDAIF funds are loaned to creditors mainly into agro-processing, agriculture export activities and marketers and manufacturers who do export businesses.
Addressing bankers in Tamale on the issue on Thursday, Dr. Issahaku said his outfit did not give out loans directly to beneficiaries but through banks.
He said the loans were very concessionary compared to those given by banks, stressing that it was being done so just to scale up export trade and agricultural commercialization in the country to stimulate growth.
Professor Francis Dodoo, Board Chairman of EDAIF, who was in the meeting said, the organization provided loans to its clients at an interest rate of 12.5 per cent and could give $3,000,000 to individuals and companies each, provided they met the criteria.
He said after noticing that a lot of its beneficiaries were coming from the Northern parts of the country, it established an office in Tamale to cater for the northern belt.
Prof. Dodoo said the source of funding for EDAIF activities included a 10 per cent fund of all divestiture projects from the Divesture Implementation Committee and a 0.5 per cent tax on import of non-petroleum products making it earn enough capital inflow.
He said their interest as a public sector organization was to pass on monies accrued to farmers and agro-processors through the banks, adding “We cannot work without banks”.
Most of the banks that were present lauded the idea of EDAIF but demanded a motivational package in a form of processing fee or increasing the interest rate on loans to enable the banks to make profit.