MASLOC gives GH¢161,160 to cassava farmers

(MASLOC)Cassava farmers who supply raw materials to the Ayensu Starch Company received support from Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) on Wednesday October 15, 2014.

The support, in the form of a GH¢161,160 loan facility, is aimed at boosting activities of the farmers — numbering more than 20 — to produce more for the cassava starch manufacturing company.

Speaking at a short ceremony to mark the disbursement of the loan facility, MASLOC Chief Executive, Sedina Tamekloe, said the small loans lender has noted that farmers in other segments of the Ghanaian population — especially in rural communities — lack access to microfinance companies to assist them in their commercial activities.

She revealed that the Ayensu Casava Farmers Association, the beneficiary of the facility, approached MASLOC this year for a loan to increase cassava output because demand of the Ayensu Starch Company was growing.

She said MASLOC felt the need to heed the call of the farmers since its goal is to “assist government to reduce poverty by providing financial assistance especially to persons who could not access such facilities with the conventional banking institutions”.

Sampson Abbey Armah, District Chief Executive (DCE), of Awutu-Senya, where the farmers live and work, pleaded with MASLOC to also assist the outgrower farmers — farmers who work on small lands– to further increase cassava production for the starch company.

The DCE also reminded MASLOC that women who process the cassava into gari and other products, when the Ayensu Starch Company is unable to use up raw materials delivered to them, also need assistance since they play an important role in ensuring no cassava goes to waste.

Former Public Relations Officer of MASLOC and now Deputy Chief, Mustapha Abubakar, said Mr Abbey Armah’s recommendations are high on MASLOC’s agenda.

“Every resource that the President [John Mahama] gives us has to be channeled to you, our down-trodden people “, he assured the DCE and the farmers who were also at the ceremony.

“An amount of 161,160 Ghana cedis has been provided for the farmers and we are here today to do the official disbursement”.

The Ayensu Starch Factory, located at Bawjiase in the Central Region, ceased operations for the second time in December 2011 due to operational and financial challenges — largely attributed to inadequate supply of raw materials and faulty equipments.

MASLOC, over the years, has established itself not only as a microfinance institution that disburses micro and small loans to the identified poor in the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, but also provides business advisory services, training and capacity building for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as well as collaborating institutions, to provide them with the required skills and knowledge in managing their businesses efficiently and effectively.

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