Fidelity Bank Ghana, the country’s largest privately-owned bank, has reaffirmed its unwavering dedication to the agricultural sector at the presidential breakfast meeting on agriculture and agribusiness financing in Ghana. This profound commitment was shared by Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking at Fidelity Bank, who highlighted the strategic commitment of Fidelity Bank to not only supporting agriculture but also promoting the overall growth of agribusiness, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with other stakeholders to provide comprehensive support to the sector.
Participating in a panel discussion themed "Challenges and Opportunities in Agricultural Financing," Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst highlighted the pivotal role of the banking sector in fostering the growth of the agribusiness landscape. During the engaging discourse, she also emphasized the strategic commitment of Fidelity Bank to not just supporting agriculture but also promoting the overall growth of agribusiness.
"It is imperative that we shift our attention not solely to agriculture but also to the comprehensive enhancement of the agribusiness domain," stated Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst.
Addressing the expansive opportunities within the sector, she specifically highlighted the potential within horticulture, emphasizing the necessity of collaborations with insurance companies to provide comprehensive coverage for various segments along the entire agricultural value chain. "We envision a seamless integration of the entire agribusiness ecosystem, catering to the needs of every stakeholder, including off-takers and sellers," she articulated.
She also revealed that over 10 percent of Fidelity Bank's loan portfolio is actively dedicated to the support of the agricultural sector.
In alignment with its commitment to bolstering the agribusiness landscape, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst shed light on Fidelity Bank's collaborative efforts with pivotal stakeholders, citing notable partnerships with Development Bank Ghana, Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), and others to provide financing and technical support for agribusinesses.
Furthermore, she emphasized the pressing need for comprehensive and accessible data on various facets of agriculture, including farm ownership and yields. Underscoring the challenges faced by financial institutions in accurately assessing the risk associated with agricultural financing, Nana Esi emphasized, "It is difficult to find data and information on the sector, and that makes it difficult to really understand the kind of risk a bank takes when it underwrites an agricultural facility. There is a lot more that needs to be done to make it easier for the sector to grow,” she said."
The presidential breakfast meeting on agriculture and agribusiness financing in Ghana, organized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, was designed to illuminate the opportunities and challenges within the sector and promote synergy among stakeholders to bolster support for the industry. The event garnered the presence of Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, top executives from various financial institutions, and key players across the agriculture value chain.
Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst's insights, shared at this esteemed event, serve to reinforce Fidelity's unwavering dedication to steering the agricultural and agribusiness sectors. As this vital sector continues its upward trajectory, Fidelity Bank stands resolute in its commitment to fostering collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders and authorities. This collaborative effort is instrumental in propelling the agricultural sector towards sustainable growth and prosperity, creating an enabling environment for the holistic development of Ghana's agribusiness landscape.