The Chief Executive Officer of GIRSAL Ltd., Kwesi Korboe, is calling on private sector actors in the agricultural sector to take charge in deciding what is relevant to the sector, and influence the direction of agricultural sector policy.
Speaking to the media at the re-launch of the GIRSAL Scheme, and the launch of the Agriculture Stakeholder Convening and Advocacy Platform, Mr. Korboe indicated that agricultural development is more than just financing. Key industry actors need to coordinate their efforts to influence the policy direction of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture toward sector growth.
According to Mr. Korboe, while finance is important for agribusinesses, it does not address all the issues of competitiveness in the agricultural production chain. Other issues derailing the sector could be the environment not being conducive for the private actors to operate efficiently.
There is, therefore, need for sturdy policy coherence, better collaboration, and proper coordination within the sector to provide an enabling environment for agribusinesses to thrive.
“Currently, there is no proper coordination, collaboration is weak, and sometimes you see policy incoherence for the same issue within the sector, thereby creating a situation where the country does not achieve what it has to achieve”, he said.
He also noted that there seems to be a challenge for agribusinesses when it comes to articulating what they need from government agencies and the ministry; therefore, the need for a regular detailed engagement to give them the platform to discuss these issues.
According to Mr. Korboe, GIRSAL is launching the Agriculture Stakeholder Convening and Advocacy Platform to provide a holistic crosscutting sectorial approach to address challenges within the various agricultural value chains. It is also to ensure that the multiple actors within the sector play their role to ensure sector competitiveness.
The GIRSAL Agriculture Stakeholder Platform will help harness, activate, and create conversations about the Agric policy direction in Ghana, weak institutional enforcement of standards and regulations in the agricultural sector, and low competitiveness and market integration into domestic and international markets.
GIRSAL, after operating silently for three years, has solidified its structures and approach to de-risking the Agric financing sector and helping to improve the Agricultural sector at large.
This is so, due to GIRSAL’s role of sitting between the bank and the agribusinesses to de-risk the environment, thereby making Agric financing attractive to the banks, which brings about an increase in lending to the Agric sector.
GIRSAL has signed on 22 financial institutions comprising commercial banks, savings & loans institutions, investment institutions and some rural banks within its three years of operation. Through the GIRSAL’s Agricultural Risk Sharing Scheme, it has guaranteed agricultural loans valued at over GH¢629.6million to agribusinesses, with over GH¢62million guarantee loans successfully repaid.
The GIRSAL Agriculture Stakeholder Convening and Advocacy Platform launch event was in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Private Enterprise Federation, and sponsored by the Development Bank Ghana.