Access to finance remains the biggest challenge for most small-scale farmers in Africa, an African Union (AU) Commissioner said on Thursday.
The AU is working hard to ensure that maximum support is given to small-scale farmers in the continent, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, told a media briefing on the sidelines of the 25th AU Summit currently underway in Johannesburg.
Tumusiime stressed the need for banks to understand the crucial role played by small farmers in food production.
“There has been limited financing for agriculture especially for the small-scale farmers. It is very costly for the small farmers to get loans from the banks due to the type of collateral demanded by the banks and the high interests charged on those loans,” Tumusiime said.
She said there is need for the banks to create conditions that support such farmers.
She stressed the importance of the contributions made by the international community to the farming sector in various countries.
She said, “The African leaders have made commitment to fundamentally transform agriculture to achieve the goals of shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.
Tumusiime emphasized that one of the main issues being discussed at the summit under the theme “Year of women empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063,” is making agriculture and agro-business to work for women.
“In fact we will be launching the end to the hand-held hoe by 2020 and embrace technology that will make the work and lives of rural women more attractive,” Tumusiime said. Enditem