Prime News Ghana

Gov't supports private plantation development

By primenewsghana
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The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor has assured private plantation developers of the continuous support and full backing of government and his Ministry on their enterprise as it falls in line with government’s determination to provide climate change solutions.

Hon. Jinapor gave this assurance when he joined the plantation developers during a sensitisation forum organised for the private developers by the Ghana Forest Investment Programme, (GFIP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

The awareness creation on plantation loan scheme programme is on the sidelines of the Sector Minister's one-day tour of the Ashanti Region on Tuesday.

He noted that government has absolute trust in the private sector even as it is giving out loans from its Forest Investment Project to engage in plantation enterprises, because he said "we believe in private sector as anything you do in human endeavour, whether medicine, commerce, agriculture, plantation or anything, when you have the private sector at the fulcrum or the pivot around which your enterprise revolve, you can be rest assured that you will be successfully"

The Sector Minister said that the Ministry’s presence at their meeting to create awareness on plantation loan scheme is a testimony of government's commitment to their endeavour, adding that this support to private sector to establish commercial forest plantation will yield a common goal which is the provision of industrial timber, restoration of degraded landscape, job creation for the youth and provision of ecological services which he is especially happy about.

He indicated that this financing is also a vehicle for Government to realize its vision to protect the remaining forests, increase its forest estate, improve the lives of community members working in the rural landscape and pilot the viability of contracting commercial loans for plantation development.

He encouraged the private developers saying that the work they are involved in, although difficult, is a very important one and with a government that believes in the private sector he urge them to get actively involved and make it work for the common good.

Stating the objective of the loan scheme to private sector plantation developers, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister responsible for Lands and Forestry, disclosed that in line with the achievements the Ghana Forest Investment Programme (GFIP) and in order to consolidate the gains made under the original GFIP programme, a financing of USD 19.39 million loan and grant was extended to Ghana in January 2019 and out of this total sum, USD 7.0 million is being loaned out to support small to medium scale plantation development through a concessionary loan scheme.

He opined that the objective of the scheme is to stimulate private sector investment in commercial forest plantation, which he said will be achieved through the provision of financial assistance and technical support to small and medium-scale forest plantation investors.

The Deputy Minister informed the developers that there are terms and conditions to acquire the loan and the most pertinent among all is ownership of the Lands on which they have the plantation.

He appreciated the efforts of the sector Minister and the Ministry for the tireless efforts in getting the loan scheme approved, noting that he is certain the private sector will do a good job with this opportunity given.