The Management of Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has indicated that it is putting in place strategic measures that will see the bank raise its agricultural loan portfolio to 50 per cent by the year 2022.
This is to enable farmers and value chain actors to have access to enough capital to boost agriculture development, reduce importation and enhance the country's efforts at attaining food sufficiency.
Mr Kwasi Asiedu Attrams, General Manager in charge of Agribusiness at ADB who disclosed this at the second edition of the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Training and Tradeshow in Accra said the bank acknowledged the difficulty actors within the industry, especially primary producers faced in accessing finance.
He said the bank was, therefore, committed to stepping up its support to the sector by raising the amount it allocated to its loan portfolio, to encourage more individuals and groups to venture into the industry to boost productivity.
"As a show of our commitment to the growth of the agricultural sector, the Board and Management of the bank is embarking on aggressive agenda of increasing the agricultural loan portfolio of the bank to 50 per cent of the bank's total loan book by the year 2022.
"We remain committed to stepping up our support to the industry as the leading bank supporting agriculture in Ghana and similarly encourage other Banks to do same," he said.
The tradeshow, organised by Agrihouse Foundation, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Ghana Poultry Project (GPP) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, sought to provide a platform for livestock, poultry and fish farmers to showcase and promote their products, and to create job opportunities, through competence based and targeted training sessions.
Mr Attrams said the bank had earmarked an amount of GH¢ 500 million to revitalise the livestock and poultry sub sectors under its ADB Broiler Outgrower Scheme.
He said the bank also approved and begun the disbursement of GH¢ 23.20 million to six broiler value chain players in the Bono Region to produce and process a total of 108,000 birds per week to serve the local market.
He added that preparations had begun for the commencement of the same project in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions by October this year, with the project to be extended to other beneficiary regions by December.
Ghana imports 240,000 metric tonnes of meat annually to supplement local production.
Government, in its 2019 budget disclosed that the country spent US$ 374 million annually on poultry meat imports.
In June 2019, the government rolled out the Rearing for Food and Jobs to develop a more competitive and efficient livestock sector to increase domestic meat production to address the country's meat deficit.
Mr Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, Deputy Minister Fisheries and Aquaculture Development commended ADB’s continued support to the sector over the years.
He assured industry players of government's commitment to resource and support the sector to thrive for economic growth and national development.