The Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) PLC has reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to deepen collaborations with the Ministry of Food and Agricultural (MoFA) to grow the agricultural sector.
ADB, he said, will work together to achieve all objectives of the Ministry when it comes to agriculture financing and national development.
Alhassan Yakubu-Tali was speaking during a courtesy call on the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong on May 11.
According to him, the Bank has positioned itself as the bank of choice over the years when it comes to agricultural financing and support.
He indicated that despite the wide-ranging challenges in the sector that has pushed many banks away from financing the sector, ADB continues to see these challenges as opportunities.
Alhaji Yukubu-Tali outlined some recommendations to help grow agricultural financing which include tax incentives, tax holidays, and rebates for institutions engaged in agricultural financing as well as reforms regarding prudential guidelines.
He also called for robust agricultural research and extension systems to support improvement in agricultural productivity and the availability of dependable data to drive planning and policy direction in the industry.
He said, “There should also be an increased budgetary allocation to provide physical and social infrastructure like feeder roads, markets, storage facilities, irrigation facilities, etc. to grow the sector.”
“There is the urgent need for all stakeholders to work with the Bank of Ghana to develop special prudential guidelines and regulations relating to asset classification, acceptable collateral etc. relating to agric financing.”
“Most importantly, ADB which has shown unequal commitment to agricultural financing should be the bank of choice when it comes to channelling long-term concessionary funds by the Ministry,” he added.
According to him, the Bank needs some of these funds to support the continuous financing of the sector and also offer competitive and affordable rates to farmers.
This, he said, could be a way to return the support ADB gives to the Ministry and the agric sector. It will also encourage the bank to do more and also motivate other banks to come on board.
Alhaji Yakubu-Tali disclosed that ADB’s agriculture sector investment has grown over the years with a total agricultural loan hitting over GH¢1 billion.
According to him, this investment has come on the back of the strategy to refocus the bank on its original mandate to provide financial intermediation to the agricultural sector.
He stated that this investment, however, excludes the huge volumes of non-funded facilities such as letters of credit and guarantees granted for the purchase of agricultural inputs, machinery, equipment, and raw materials.
The Managing Director indicated that his visit was to assure the Minister of ADB’s support to guarantee the success of the Ministry and to continue to partner with the Ministry to fully achieve the objectives of the government in the agricultural sector.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon Bryan Acheampong, on his part, assured ADB of the government’s absolute collaboration to support farmers through input and credit.
This, he said would lower the cost of venturing into agriculture and allow about 2.5 million people reported to be unemployed to go into farming.
He disclosed that the Ministry is developing an aggressive plan, a four-year step-by-step roadmap that will be pursued to ensure that within the four or a maximum of five years, Ghana will be able to match its production to consumption, meet export requirements and match production to industry.
“MoFA will move all out with ADB to assure farmers that, ADB is committed to expanding Agriculture in Ghana. ADB stands tall in proving agriculture financing, and that makes it the Bank of choice.”
“MoFA is committed to strengthening the relationship between ADB to ensure farmers get what is needed to increase production,” he said.
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