The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah has stated that government is ready to support Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) with loans through the National Board for Small Scale Industry(NBSSI) and the GRATIS Foundation.
According him, there is a high demand for Ghanaian vegetables abroad but the country is not supplying enough to generate foreign exchange and create jobs, hence, the move to support small holder farmers through the NBSSI and the GRATIS Foundation.
Speaking at short ceremony in Accra to present two pickup vehicles to the NBSSI and the GRATIS Foundation, Dr. Spio-Garbrah stated that the initiative has a huge capacity of putting money in the pockets of people who are willing to work.
“There is a huge demand for Ghanaian pepper; there is a huge demand for Ghanaian vegetables. We talk about people not having jobs.We talk about people not having money in their pockets. If we take advantage of the NBSSI and the GRATIS foundation, we will have money in our pockets,” he said.
Dr. Spio-Garbah stated that government with support from the International Fund for Agriculture Development has secured 200 million dollars, purposely to support farmers under the two schemes.
He disclosed that the GRATIS Foundation is already achieving a lot through the production of simple machines for farmers in the northern part of the country.
“I will urge all Ghanaians especially the youth to take advantage of these programmes,” he said adding that government has committed enough resources to the programme to make it successful.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of GRATIS Foundation, Mr. Emmanuel Asiedu stated that the foundation has created about 500 jobs this year.
“The foundation is focused on creating jobs for the youth. We have so far created about 500 jobs for Ghanaians; directly and indirectly,” he said.
Mr. Asiedu explained that the mandate of the foundation is to champion industrialization through the manufacturing of simple machines to farmers at affordable rates.
“We have helped people build fufu pounding machines and other machines used by shea nut farmers in the North,” he said.
He stated that the directors of the foundation are reviewing proposals to transform the foundation into a technical university.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana