The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has posted impressive financial growth in its half-year results, even in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc on all sectors of the economy, including the financial sector.
The unaudited half-year results published by the Bank last week showed growth in all key performance indicators such as assets, deposits, loans, net interest income, and others also saw appreciable growth.
The Bank’s total assets grew by more than GH¢800million or 17.17% from GH¢4.04billion to GH¢4.88billion on the back of 26.6% growth in the loan book from GH¢1.22billion to GH¢1.66billion from June 2019 to June 2020. It has been able to increase its deposits, despite the uncertainty of customers about how and what to save, from GH¢2.95billion to GH¢3.68billion – a difference of GH¢727.77million or 19.76 percent growth.
Dr. John Kofi Mensah, the Bank’s Managing Director, noted that the bank stayed true to its core business of financing agriculture and agribusinesses; and with the pandemic, the nation needs to secure its food production process.
According to him: “The pandemic has shown to us that we are on the right path when it comes to sustaining Ghana’s food security. With our borders closed and other trading partners closing their borders, it means that we are have to look inward to keep feeding ourselves; and with strategic financing from us, our farmers and players along the agric value chain have not disappointed”.
He touched on some of the bank’s initiatives, including the comprehensive financing scheme for the poultry value chain – which he believes could make Ghana become self-sufficient in poultry production by 2022.
The Bank recently presented a GH¢23.2million loan facility to six players in the poultry value chain, and this is to be replicated nationwide within the next two years. The facility is part of the financing for a comprehensive GH¢500million programme that will reduce reliance on imported chicken, protect the local currency, and promote sustainable jobs in the agriculture sector.
The project, expected to be replicated in six other regions of the country, is being coordinated in partnership with the Ministries of Finance and Food and Agriculture; and the Outgrower and Value Chain Fund (OVCF) and Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project (GIRSAL).
According to Dr. Kofi Mensah, the Bank’s digital banking products kept it in business during the period, since customers could still do business without necessary being in the Banking halls. “Being a caring bank, we rolled out several digital channels and reduced the cost of using them to ensure our customers remained with us,” he said.
Dr. Mensah said most of the loans were targetted at agribusiness so as to avoid any possibility of food shortage in the medium- and long-term.