The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has called for deeper collaboration between the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and Asanteman to strengthen development of agriculture in the Ashanti Region.
According to the Asantehene, access to credit by farmers in the region is currently a major hindrance to the interest of many of his people in regard to venturing into agriculture. “The inability of my people and Ghanaians in general to access loans from banks like ADB is a major contribution to people giving their lands out for other – non-agriculture related – ventures.”
Speaking during a visit by the bank’s board and management to commiserate with the Asantehene, who recently performed the final funeral rites of the Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, Otumfuo thanked the bank for the visit and their long-time presence in the region.
He said that the bank has done well in the region, but there is a need for it to do more in the area of loans to farmers.
Managing Director Dr. John Kofi Mensah, in a brief remark, pledged the bank’s commitment to the Asantehene’s wish and indicated that it is working to bring banking closer to farmers. “We have set up specialised agricultural desks in 36 out of our 78 branches to address the needs of our farmers,” he assured.
Dr. Mensah said the bank will in the coming years introduce more innovative products and services that will make banking easily accessible to farmers.
According to Dr. Mensah, the bank has shown commitment to government by supporting it with GH¢200million for the One District, One Factory programme. “We are working to ensure that in 2018 we bring banking closer to our farmers,” he said.
The other members of the ADB delegation were Prof David Abdulai and Nana Serwa Bonsu, both board members; Alhassan Yakubu-Tali, Deputy Managing Director; Maxwell Amoakoehene, General Counsel; and other executive management members of the bank.