The Agricultural Development Bank’s agricultural sector loan portfolio has hit over GH¢1billion, says its Managing Director, Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu-Tali.
The amount excludes non-funded facilities such as letters of credit and guarantees granted for the purchase of agricultural inputs, machinery, equipment and raw materials.
The huge amount of investment over the past few years is part of a strategy to refocus the bank to its original mandate and provide financial intermediation for the agricultural sector.
The Managing Director disclosed this on Thursday, 11th May 2023 when he paid a courtesy call on Minister for Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong (Dr.), to congratulate him on his appointment.
Due to many challenges and increasing levels of risk in the agricultural sector, many financial institutions, including banks, usually shy-away from investing in the sector. Alhaji Yakubu-Tali however stated that for ADB these challenges present enormous opportunities which the bank will continue to leverage.
He indicated that ADB has positioned itself as the ‘bank of choice’ when it comes to Agricultural financing, which is key in facilitating growth of the economy.
The Managing Director indicated that ADB has been a leader in providing financial support for the nation’s agric sector initiatives: including Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ); Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ); Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD); and the One District-One Factory Initiative (1D1F).
“Under Planting for Food and Jobs and 1DF1, the bank invested over GH¢251.83million to support many viable projects and purchase fertiliser and certified seeds among others. To guarantee food security, the bank between 2018 to date has disbursed in excess of GH¢460million to NAFCO (Buffer Stock) for purchasing stocks harvested under the PFJ programme to ensure constant food supplies under the Free SHS programme,” he said.
In the fishing sector, the bank – in partnership with the Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Coastal Development Authority – supported the importation of 1,300 Yamaha outboard motors as well as fishing gear for fishers at cost, either under lease-financing or through direct sales. The bank further absorbed all incidental and related costs amounting to about GH¢7million.
ADB also supported Planting for Export and Rural Development, which is a key initiative aimed at promoting perennial/tree-crops. The tree-crop sub-sector was supported with a total investment of over GH¢485million for rubber, oil palm and mango plantations.
Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu-Tali further disclosed that, as a strategy, ADB has partnered risk-sharing incentive entities like GIRSAL to reduce the bank’s risk burden as it seeks to further grow its investment in the agricultural sector.
He stated that the bank has since 1987 been lead sponsor of the National Best Farmer Awards, and the sponsorship forms part of its commitment to the Agricultural sector. “The bank’s association and continuous sponsorship of these events over the years is an undeniable evidence of its promise to support farmers & fishers and remain focused on its founding mandate to provide financial intermediation for the agricultural sector,” he said.
He assured that the bank will continue partnering government in the quest to ensure food security in Ghana, and to achieve all objectives of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture when it comes to agriculture financing and development.