Many Ghanaians heaved a sigh of relief when the government introduced the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative, which is aimed at building strong value-addition-oriented companies as well as reducing the unemployment rate in the country.
Although some private companies have received some forms of support under the initiative, many have not received the support needed as access to funds has been a challenge.
In a bid to address this, the Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Dr. John Kofi Mensah says the bank is offering to provide support to prospective Ghanaians who are into agribusiness by financing out-grower schemes under the one district one factory initiative.
“One district one factory was brought by our president, and we are trying to move it to another level as an agricultural focused bank to finance out-grower schemes for the one district one factory initiative. That is, the factories and the industries that are being established, we want to fund the input base, and most of them are agro. Let’s take, for example, the Ekumfi Juice factory in the Central Region which was commissioned by the President, ADB is financing the input base, that is pineapple. We have already pumped thirty million cedis into an out-grower scheme for farmers in pineapple production. Another one I can talk of is the Tomato processing factory in Berekum in the Bono region.”
“We are financing an out-grower scheme for tomato production. So any prospective Ghanaian who wants to go into agro-based processing should be sure that when you come to talk to ADB, we will support you to build a raw material base by financing an out-grower scheme so, that, your factory will continue producing without any break. We are concentrating on Ghana production in terms of the raw materials and most of them are agro-based.”
Another industry in Ghana that has been struggling over the years is the poultry industry.
The Managing Director of ADB, Dr. John Kofi Mensah says in order for local poultry farmers to be globally competitive, his outfit has introduced a broiler value chain scheme where various players are given financial support with favourable interest rates.
“We have also introduced a broiler value chain scheme where we finance value chains from the hatchery to production, processing to marketing. We have identified interest rate as an issue, and we are promising our value chain customers that we are going to see to the further depression of the interest rate”.
The Managing Director made these comments on the sidelines of a dinner with some selected customers of the bank in Kumasi.
The board chair of ADB, Alex Bernasko said, although COVID-19 hit various institutions hard, ADB was able to make a profit of 65 million Ghana Cedis in 2020 and even introduced flexible terms to suit its customers. The board chair added that the bank is set to introduce a three-year strategic plan to make it much stronger.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced, we came up with a few strategies to lighten the burden of our customers. In fact, one of them was to introduce a moratorium on existing facilities. Apart from that, some of them were given restructured payment schedule to enable them enough time to pay. You will also appreciate that some of the charges have been reduced and all that all for the benefit of the customers to make life less worrisome for them. But generally, ADB has got a three-year strategic plan which is intended to improve its structures and systems and way of doing work”.
The board members of ADB as part of their visit to the Ashanti region paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. The Asantehene commended the bank for its focus on agriculture and urged it to continue to offer support to various businesses.