The Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) PLC, Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu-Tali, has given firm assurance that the bank will continue to partner government in the quest to guarantee food security in Ghana.
ADB and government, he said, would work together to achieve all objectives of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture when it comes to agriculture financing.
The Managing Director gave the assurance on Thursday, when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Bryan Acheampong, to congratulate him on his appointment.
“ADB will offer its incomparable support to guarantee the success of the minister and we will continue to partner with the ministry to ensure its objectives and that of the government are fully achieved,” he said.
He urged the government to give tax incentives, tax holidays and rebates for institutions engaged in agricultural financing and development.
AlhajiYukubu-Tali 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. that can help drive agricultural financing.
According to him, the bank needs some of these funds to support the continuous financing of the sector and also offer flexible and competitive rates to farmers.
Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu-Tali stated that ADB has over the years, positioned itself as the bank of choice when it comes to agricultural financing and support.
He pointed out that analysis of the challenges in the agricultural sector ranging from perceived risk, poor land tenure system and lack of long-term funds have driven many banks away from financing the sector.
“However, for ADB, these challenges still present opportunities and we continue to keep faith with the sector,” he said.
He stated that over the years, ADB has committed huge investments to the agricultural sector, with a total agric loan hitting over GH¢1 billion as of April 2023.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr 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.