The Hikpo Milenorvisi Farming and Marketing Society, a 136-member association, was the beneficiary of the loan that is expected to better the lot of okro farmers.
The South Tongu District is one of the best producers of okro for the local and international markets, but lack of access to funding to increase production has been a major concern.
The loan facility is expected to help the farmers increase production and make meaningful contribution to the national food basket, as well as enhance revenue generation from exports.
Mr Mensah Woyome urged them to ensure prompt repayment and added that if they did, more avenues for support would be created.
He also reminded them that it was not a free gift but a loan that must be paid back, adding that it was historically known that the people of the area were hard-working and that the facility would go a long way to help increase their output.
The Chairman of the group, Mr Innocent Dogbey, said the facility would help members to purchase seedlings and other farm inputs to enhance production.
He said farmers in the area were best at cultivating okra but lack of access to funding resulting from their inability to provide collateral to banking institutions, had hindered the expansion of their businesses.
National Best Okro Farmer
The 2009 National Best Okro Farmer, Madam Josephine Fenuku, who lives and farms in the area, said the facility would provide a great avenue for beneficiaries to expand their businesses.
She said experts in okro farming abounded in the area but lack of access to needed capital had adversely affected their output.
Presenting a cheque for the amount to the chairman of the association, the Head of Operations of MASLOC, Mr Daniel Axim, said MASLOC was set up to provide support for businesses that were unable to meet the requirements that regular banks needed for accessing loans.
He recounted that the activities of MASLOC in the Volta Region started from the South Tongu District but recorded an abysmal repayment regime that led to its exit from the district, saying “that must not happen again.”
He urged the group members to use the money for its intended purpose and not for personal expenses.