Editorial: Farmers hold the key to access to financial services

Farmers are getting tired of being short-changed when it comes to access to financial services. They have now come out in unison demanding for an Agricultural Development Bank to cater for their needs. Farmers fall in the high risk cluster when it comes to seeking loans from commercial banks.

Farmers are getting tired of being short-changed when it comes to access to financial services.

They have now come out in unison demanding for an Agricultural Development Bank to cater for their needs. Farmers fall in the high risk cluster when it comes to seeking loans from commercial banks. The threat of crop diseases and drought weigh very heavily on their successful access to loans. So they need some drastic intervention to reverse the trend.

So, where do they begin? First of all, it is not enough for farmers to seek manna from heaven; the initiative should begin with them. They can begin by organizing themselves, either through their savings cooperatives or pooling resources together to begin some sort of financial services body.

They can take a leaf from the many successful ventures that have been unveiled in the country of late; they were able to take off because stakeholders pooled their resources together. So why can’t farmers take the same route and not wait for some magnanimous third party to see the project through?

There is a very big possibility that once the government or other body sees an attempt by farmers to create a tailor-made financial institution, they will lend a helping hand. But farmers should make the first move.

There are many incentives that crop up once people join forces so farmers should not give in easily. They should continue having their voices heard. Maybe some of the established bank will heed their call; But they should be authoritative and convincing in their request, but most importantly, never give up.

 

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