Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has assured private plantation developers of the ceaseless support of the Akuffo Addo led government and the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry on their enterprise, as it falls in line with government’s resolution to provide climate change solutions.
The Minister gave the assurance when he joined the plantation developers during a forum organized for the private plantation developers by the Ghana Forest Investment Programme (GFIP), under the advocacy of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Hon Jinapor revealed that the government has complete confidence in the private sector, even as it is giving out loans from its Forest Investment Project to engage in plantation enterprises.
“We believe in private sector as anything you do in human endeavor, whether medicine, commerce, agriculture, plantation or anything, when you have the private sector at the fulcrum or the pivot around which your enterprise revolves, you can be rest assured that you will be successful.”Abu Jinapor
The lawmaker further noted that the presence of the Ministry at the meeting to create awareness on plantation loan scheme is an evidence of government’s commitment to their aim, emphasizing 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 excited about.
The sector minister disclosed that this financing is an opportunity 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.
The MP, encouraged the private developers saying that the work they are involved in, although difficult, is a very important one and has the full backing of a government that believes in the private sector.
Hon Abu Jinapor advised the developers to get actively involved in the programme and make it work for the common good of the country.
Objective Of Loan Scheme
Disclosing the objective of the loan scheme to the private sector plantation developers, the Deputy Minister in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon Benito Owusu-Bio, noted that 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 amount, USD 7.0 million is being loaned out to support small to medium scale plantation development through the loan scheme.
The Deputy Minister again indicated 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.
Hon Benito made known to the developers that there are terms and conditions to acquire the loan and the most relevant among all is ownership of the lands on which they have the plantation.
The Deputy Minister appreciated the efforts of Hon Abu Jinapor and the ministry, for the immerse efforts in getting the loan scheme approved, adding that he is certain the private sector will do a good job with this opportunity given.
The Forest Investement Program is a targeted programme under the strategic Climate Fund (SCF) of the Climate Investement Fun (CIF). It aims to finance a country’s specific efforts to address the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation and to overcome barriers that have hindered past efforts to do so.
Ghana was among 8 countries in the world selected as a pilot country for the FIP. The Ghana Forest Investement Program has provided logistic supports to farmers and and farmer groups and fire volunteers in project districts. The Programme is also supporting the development of CREMAs in selected areas.