Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL) as part of its corporate mission to transform the lives of smallholder farmers through its Agriculture finance programme has organized a farmers’ forum for cocoa farmers.
The Agricultural programme which started in 2010 has disbursed a cumulative loans amounting to GHS190 million to 161,000 smallholder farmers and SMEs businesses in the various Agriculture value chains. During this year’s crop season, OISL disbursed a total of GHS 42 million to farmers with GHS 24 million going to cocoa farmers alone.
The rationale behind the farmers’ forum was to engage with farmers to solicit their feedback on OISL’s partnership and support for them and also to train them on the use of the digital mobile banking as an alternative means for their financial services.
A total of 830 cocoa farmers from Bogoso, Mankessim, Akim Oda, Nkawkaw, Koforidua and Bekwai benefited from the forum. The training program included taking farmers through the use of the ‘Opportunity mobile platform’ (a USSD mobile platform that allows financial transactions on mobile phones) on how to make loan repayments, savings, check account balances, transfer money from their accounts to wallet with the benefit of saving the farmer the risk, time and money of having to travel for long distances to perform basic financial transactions at a branch.
Women farmers who participated actively during the sessions were presented with free mobile phones as a way to encourage women participation and adoption on the digital services. The institution has given out over 700 phones to farmers as part of its campaign to promote the use of Digital financial services.
Mr. Ebenezer Laryea, the Head of the Agricultural Finance for Opportunity International Savings and Loans, in his remarks edged farmers to inculcate the habit of repaying their loans on time so that the Institution can sustain its lending programs to them.
Mrs. Sakina Mandanda, the Africa Regional AgFinance Risk Advisor of Opportunity International, also encouraged the farmers to see farming as a business so that they can plough back the income into the business for further growth.
The clients on their part were full of gratitude to OISL for the immense contribution towards the growth of the business through the provision of loans and financial services supported by training in financial literacy and good agricultural practices.
Opportunity International Savings and Loans Ltd (OISL) is a leading savings and loans company in Ghana. OISL is at the forefront of delivering transformational ﬁnancial services to help transform the lives of clients. It was licensed by the Bank of Ghana in June 2004. Over the last three years, the institution scooped 27 prestigious awards including The Savings and Loans Company of the Year from the Chartered Institute Marketing Ghana (CIMG) and Ghana Business Awards.