Accessibility to Farm Inputs
Farmers generally obtain farm inputs in the open markets at Kintampo, Techiman or Kumasi. The Kintampo Agricultural station makes available to farmers certified maize seeds. From the respondents, the prices of the inputs in the open market are too high and sometimes some of the chemicals are diluted before sales, thus, rendering them ineffective. The consequent crop failure and monetary loss cannot be understated. For an agricultural Municipality of the magnitude of Kintampo, the creation of farmers’ services delivery points at the major marketing centres would be ideal. The sources of supply of the inputs could be from private sector operators accredited by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and with proper checks in supervision and accounting put in place; the system is likely to be sustained.
Accessibility to Farm Credits
Basically, the farmer from his own personal savings finances farming ventures in every season. Majority of the farmers resort to this practice; followed closely by assistance from moneylenders, bank credits and support from friends and relatives. A resort to bank loans for financing has not been all that smooth for the farmers. Only one financial institution gives credit facilities for agriculture in the Municipality This is the Kintampo Rural Bank Limited at Kintampo. For crop farmers, priority is given to yam farmers because about 80% of the farmers in Kintampo and its vast environs are engaged in its production, on account of its being the major staple export of the District.
Other lines of production, which are given priority depending on geographical or climatic conditions, are cassava, groundnuts, rice and beans. A project is assessed economically viable before it is assisted and a customer must satisfy security conditions. Loans are disbursed under very cautious conditions. A qualified applicant must not be a starter – farmer and must have operated with the Bank for at least six months. The project and the applicant must be within the catchments area of the Bank. The farmer must contribute one-third of the project cost in cash or in kind and lastly, the loan must be secured. The Kintampo Rural Bank is in charge of the disbursement of the Kintampo Municipality Assembly Poverty Alleviation Fund.
Summarily, it could be noted that the assistance of the Rural Bank to the farmers could be all embracing and expansive if the farmers could do well to secure ready markets or have storage facilities in place before they go into production. Again, they need to be introduced to high yielding varieties of crop seeds and new technology by MOFA staff to improve yields that produce disease resistant crops with high storage value for better market prices. Farmers also need to relate more frequently with the Banks in order to cultivate the savings habit.
Marketing of Farm Produce and Mode of Payment
Marketing of farm produce is to a large degree done outside the community of production when that community does not have a ready market situated therein. Those who market them within the community have marketing centres as is the case in areas like Kintampo and Babatorkuma. Some are sent to other marketing centres outside the District like Techiman, Zabrama, Yeji and Kumasi. Since the crops produced in the Municipality are almost broadly similar in all areas of production with little diversity, the tendency of market prices of the various produce getting depressed by large supplies at the same time, especially in the early and major harvesting seasons cannot be ruled out.
Inaccessibility to farms well located in the hinterland also has a telling effect on marketing. Middlemen/women who are able to get into the hinterland influence greatly the prices of produce. The market tends in most cases to be a buyers’ rather than a producers’ one. This situation in itself constitutes a disincentive to increased production. The mode of payment for produce is basically by CASH and on some credit terms. Credit is offered to well-known customers. In a few instances, some of these deferred payments become bad debts to the producer.
Date Created : 11/16/2017 8:00:23 AM