…as eco.business Fund, Fidelity Bank proffer sustainable solutions
The development facility of eco.business Fund has teamed up with Fidelity Bank Ghana to host a capacity-building workshop focused on economical and sustainable solutions to current challenges within the Ghanaian mango sector.
The workshop welcomed more than 60 stakeholders from across the country’s mango value chain. These included primary producers and processors, exporters and aggregators as well as agricultural stakeholders such as experts of Plant Protection and Regulatory Directorate (PPRD), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (EPA), GIRSAL, GAIP and the National Mango Growers Association.
Through a combination of presentations, interactive panel discussions, group work and knowledge-sharing sessions, participants at the workshop addressed current challenges facing the industry. They also explored ways to improve overall sustainability of the entire mango value chain through improved access to finance and markets, as well as capacity building on sustainability certifications such as Global G.A.P. or Fairtrade International.
The two-day workshop is an outcome of the eco.business Fund’s partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana, which primarily aims to support sustainable practices across several agricultural value chains in Ghana.
Mangoes are commercially the second-largest tropical fruit grown in Ghana. Increasing consumer demand, both locally and internationally, offers significant growth opportunities for the sector and a means to diversify income for local farmers while contributing to their livelihoods.
However, several limitations across the value chain hinder sustainable production and processing. A few of these include limited access to capital, diseases, increasing production costs as well as inefficient production methods, high post-harvest losses of up to 30 percent, and limited access to export markets due to certification constraints. Climate variability and weather extremes – such as prolonged dry spells or severe flooding caused by the degradation of forest reserves – pose further threats.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund says: “Global uncertainty, climate change and rising food insecurity are three major challenges impacting Ghanaian households. The fund is proud to play an active role in helping equip Ghanaian agri-businesses with the needed skills to navigate and adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape”.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Mr. Julian Opuni said: “After a successful summit for the poultry industry, we are excited to have brought together players in the mango value chain to discuss how we can improve the industry’s performance and growth.
“While the mango value chain can boast of steady production and a considerable number of investments from the private sector, a few challenges remain – such as low exports from the mango sector. It is against this background that Fidelity Bank in partnership with eco.business Fund organised this mango value chain summit, to address the challenges and proffer solutions that will set Ghana on its path to becoming one of the region’s major exporters.”
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.
The fund pursues its mission by providing dedicated financing and technical assistance to financial institutions and businesses committed to sustainability, and focuses on four economic sectors: agriculture and agri-processing, fishery and aquaculture, forestry and sustainable tourism. By leveraging the power of blended finance, the fund is able to amplify its impact and outreach by drawing its capital from various layers and investing, either via financial intermediaries or directly in businesses.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and European Union. The fund’s impact management system, through its advisor Finance in Motion, underwent an independent verification by impact auditor BlueMark – affirming strong Operating Principles for Impact Management alignment in 2021.
Fidelity Bank Ghana
In a little over a decade, Fidelity Bank Ghana has grown from a discount house to a Tier-1 bank and is now the largest privately-owned indigenous bank in Ghana. The bank currently serves its approximately 2 million customers in 75 branches across Ghana, and is a leader in the digital banking space.
The bank has two subsidiaries – Fidelity Asia Bank Limited, which is a whollyowned subsidiary in Malaysia; and Fidelity Securities Limited, an asset management firm. In a short period of time, Fidelity Bank has become a household name in Ghana by adopting a customer-centric culture and delivering consistently on the promise of making a difference in the lives of all stakeholders.