Fiagya Rural Bank to support 700 smallholder farmers

Kwame Baffo-Emmim, Fiagya Rural Bank General Manager

Fiagya Rural Bank Limited at Busunya in the Nkoranza North district of Bono East Region has reaffirmed its commitment to agribusiness financing to boost growth and development of the rural agrarian economy.

The bank’s strategic focus has been influenced by the national prioritisation of agriculture, with government programmes like ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) and ‘Planting for Export and Rural Development’ (PERD). The unattractiveness of the security market has also informed the bank’s policy direction.

To this end, the bank has budgeted to advance financial support to about 700 smallholder farmers in the 2020 financial year. The pencilled farmers are mostly into cultivating maize, yam, vegetables and cashew in communities around Nkoranza North and South, as well as the Techiman area.

The General Manager of Fiagya Rural Bank, Kwame Baffo-Emmim, told B&FT that plans are also advanced to hook onto the ARB Apex Bank warehouse receipt system partnership with the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) project. He said there is an ongoing renovation of a warehouse at Nkoranza to facilitate implementation of the project, adding: “This will pave the way to support more farmers, especially maize farmers within our catchment area”.

The bank’s 2020 loans portfolio is about GH¢11.5million as compared GH¢9.5million in 2019. A portion of the budget will be disbursed as agriculture loans. The bank will give about GH¢6million out of it to operators of micro enterprises under its microfinance scheme -targetting about 1,000 of them and showing an increase from 700 in the previous year.

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“This time round, we have resolved to do more loans to somewhat neutralise the shocks from bad investments emanating from the collapse of many fund management firms. With effective loan appraisal and supervision, micro-financing has proven to be a reliable avenue for generating more funds and effecting local economic growth,” he said.

The bank has set a deposits target of GH¢20million as against last year’s achievement of GH¢16million. In order to realise the target for 2020, Mr. Baffo-Emmim revealed that the bank has rolled out strategies such as establishing a marketing department for outreach events, and stepped-up mobilisation drive with mouth-watering staff motivation. Meanwhile, the budgeted investment portfolio is GH¢6million.

He indicated that in the short-term, the bank will not consider expansion by opening additional branches but rather focus on existing ones to maximise growth. He however hinted that Ashanti Region will be the preferred destination should it decide to open a new branch. The bank has branches at Nkoranza, Techiman, Techiman-Afrancho and Sunyani.

“The bank will cushion its strategic operations with quality customer care, intensifying promotional activities, adopting an aggressive loan recovery style, and ensuring strong internal control mechanisms,” he stated.

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