Barclays Bank, a market leader in agribusiness lending, says agriculture will continue to be an important focus area as it changes its name to Absa in February 2020. The 2017 Best Bank in Agribusiness Finance in the Rice, Maize and Soya value chain currently provides financing that benefit agribusinesses and smallholder farmers.
Barclays recognises agriculture as a major sector to for Ghana’s economic growth and has specialised products such as Commercial Asset Finance, Enterprise Supply-Chain Development (ESD) and Structured Commodity Finance among others to meet the diverse needs of their clients.
To help create the right impact in agriculture, the bank works with both international and local agencies, including USAID, Ghana Commodity Exchange and Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) and others to increase lending support to the agricultural sector.
Barclays, through the Enterprise Supply-Chain Development solution, provides a lending model to unlock financing for suppliers. It also provides non-traditional banking solutions to finance agribusiness and build their capacity through the ESD framework.
The Head of Agribusiness at Barclays, Mr. William Nettey noted that the bank also “supports financing of commodities such as maize, rice and soya with import substitution benefits to the country. We are increasing our collaborations with local and international partners to enable us meet the needs of participants in the agribusiness value chain”.
Through these partnerships, “our agribusiness clients and their suppliers are benefiting from increased access to funding, strengthening business management, creating market linkages and development as well as access to technological tools” he added.
The Bank’s partnership with USAID's Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID-FinGAP), stimulates investment in rice, soya and maize value chains, thereby helping grow Ghana's staple food supply, while creating economic fortunes for many Ghanaians in the agricultural sector. Smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana who supply raw materials to the agribusinesses also benefited from Barclays’ financing.
The bank earlier this year signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ghana Commodity Exchange to build a framework for the settlement of trades as well as the provision of financial services to exchange actors.
This is expected to give Ghanaian farmers the working capital they need to sustain their business activities as well as greater purchasing power and funding for seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.
Barclays, for many years has played a leading role in the annual cocoa syndication and continues to provide financing to support the Ghana’s major export earner through the licensed buyers.