The Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ADB) is to provide funding support to the Accra Anglican Dioceses for the development of a rubber plantation project.
The project, to be located on a 1,000 acres land at Assin Nsuta in the Central Region, is expected to create jobs and add about 1,535 metric tons of raw wet cup lumps annually to the rubber industry in the country.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the management of the bank, the Lord Bishop of The Anglican Diocese of Accra, Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto said the initiative was part of the Church’s five pillars of existence and operations.
“To achieve this aim, the Anglican Diocese of Accra has developed a rubber plantation project which seeks to ensure financial sustainability of the church and also serve as an avenue of growth for its congregants and the nation at large,” he said.
Bishop Torto further indicated that the initiative was part of the effort by the Church to also take advantage of the several government initiatives including the One District One Factory and the Planting for Export and Rural Development.
According to the Anglican Bishop of Accra, the decision to approach the Bank was because of its renewed focus on the agricultural sector and the wealth of experience in the rubber industry, which the Bank has financed over the years.
Bishop Torto said the Church has already identified the land and financing would be required for land development, procurement of inputs hence their decision to approach the Bank.
In his remarks the ADB Managing Director, Dr. John Kofi Mensah commended the Church for the initiative to venture into tree crop plantation especially Rubber to ensure financial sustainability and create jobs for its members. “This initiative is highly commendable and an indication of the preparedness of the Church to also contribute to National Development,” he said.
Dr. Kofi Mensah indicated that with years of experience in financing the Rubber Plantation project the Bank had already started deliberations with the Out-grower Value Chain Fund (OVCF) to workout modalities to procure concessionary loan to support the project.
The Managing Director said due to long lasting relationships with notable religious bodies such as the Anglican Church; we are comfortable to support the church to positively contribute to the socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
According to Dr. Kofi Mensah, the Bank has a wealth of experience in rubber plantation financing in the Western, Western-North, Central, Eastern and Ashanti regions since 1995 providing livelihood for over 10,000 outgrower farmers.