Fund established to mitigate the risks associated with lending to farmers – the Ghana Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), is now operational, Deputy Minister for horticulture at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, George Oduro has said.

The Fund was established to reduce the perceived risk of agriculture financing and to crowd in private finance to support smallholder farmers across the country.

According to Mr Oduro, “the banks are willing to lend to farmers now and it’s not like before.”

GIRSAL comprises of six major pillars which include risk sharing, digital finance, insurance, technical assistance, bank incentive mechanisms and a bank rating scheme.

The Bank of Ghana is expected to provide about 75% risk guarantee to commercial banks which lend to smallholder farmers in Ghana. Also, the digital finance aspect is intended to serve farmers in rural communities where banking services are not available. Every farmer under the instrument is required to subscribe to agricultural insurance as a way to reduce investment risk and boost investor confidence.

The Deputy Agric Minister spoke at the GIPC Invest in Ghana Session of the 2019 African Green Revolution Forum on the theme, “Investing in Agriculture – Raising efficiency and productivity for economic growth.”

The forum featured an interactive session to deliberate on best practices to give the agricultural sector a facelift by roping more youth into the sector.

The 4-day African Green Revolution Forum held in Accra is organised by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Government of Ghana.