GHANA - The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) has for the past five years invested more than GH¢500m million in the agricultural sector being the highest investment in the sector by any bank in the country.
In 2014, the bank, investment in the sector was about GH₵381million, which represents a 400 per cent over the 2010 figure of GH₵72 million investments.
The massive jump was recorded despite high default rates due to weather related challenges as most of crop production is undertaken under rain fed conditions.
The breakdown for the 2014 investment are Fishing and Aquaculture-GH₵125, 366,156.58, Industrial Crops- GH₵60,085,629.42, Food Crops- GH₵38,622,702.53, Livestock and Poultry – GH₵22,067,819.73, Agro Marketing - GH₵3,919,300 and Agro Processing – GH₵130,860,900.26.
Mrs Sylvia Nyante , Head of Agricultural Finance, at adb indicated that the agro processing sector has witnessed significant increase in investment with the best performing sector being the fishing and aquaculture.
According to her, adb is working hard to ensure that the Ghanaian farmer gets the best financing packages for their activities.
"As a bank we are determined to ensure that we provide all the necessary financial resources to our farmers to engage in profitable ventures in the sector so as to be able to feed our nation and also export some outside".
“We have many packages our farmers and fishers can enjoy once they fulfill the basic requirements to access a loan facility of their choice”, she said.
Mrs Nyante, who also acted as fund manager for several projects, said adb offers massive support to develop the agro processing sector to serve as a useful linkage for the primary production sector.
“The Agricultural Development Bank even in the face of stiff competition is determined to maintain its position as the best agric financing bank in the country”, she added.
According to Mrs Nyante, certain challenges continue to affect the investments of the bank in the sector and these include the underdevelopment of the export market to meet export standards, inadequate agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation, processing and storage facilities and the importation of cheaper agricultural produce.
Touching on the impact of adb’s investment in the sector, she said that the bank had invested in the provision of raw materials for agro processing companies, the development of the poultry industry from a subsistence level to a commercial state as well as the importation of fishing inputs for artisanal fishing.
Aside giving loans to farmers and fishers, the bank has for the past decade solely sponsored the ultimate award of three bedroom houses to the National best farmer and also sponsors the National Farmers forum and the cocktail for award winners.
The bank has for many years maintained the award of the best bank in Agricultural Financing at the Ghana Banking Awards the last being 2014.