MiDA loans cause death of three farmers

Three members of Otukwadjo Co-operative Youth Vegetable Growers Society at Otukwadjo near Nsawam, in the Eastern Region have lost their lives due to their inability to refund the loans they contracted from Millennium Development Authority (MiDA). More than 20 of their colleagues have also vacated the town for the same reason. The members of the society were granted the loans for the large scale production of maize but because of the lack of combine harvester, drying and storage facilities their harvest was destroyed by rain. Mr Benjamin Anterkyi, Chairman of the Society told the Ghana News Agency at Otukwadjo at the weekend that in November, 2008 MiDA trained 99 members of Otukwadjo and Anwensu Co-operative Societies in the Akuapem South Municipality for the maize venture. He said after the training GH¢1.6 million was given to the two societies to share among their members to undertake the production. Mr Anterkyi said heavy rains however destroyed more than 500 acres of the farms they cultivated, thus making it impossible for the members to honour the payment of the loans. The Chairman stated that last year MiDA summoned the members of the two societies to appear in court for non-refund of the loans and that led to the collapse, hospitalisation and the subsequent death of the three members whilst the rest had to flee. He mentioned the names of the deceased as Mr David Asante Mante, 39, Mr Francis Tawiah, 45 and Madam Mary Dede 52. Mr Anterkyi appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to intervene to enable the farmers to return home.