Divisional Director of Retail and Business Banking at Fidelity Bank, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, has reaffirmed the bank’s unwavering dedication to the agricultural sector.
At a presidential breakfast meeting on agriculture and agribusiness financing in Ghana, she highlighted the strategic commitment of Fidelity Bank to not only support agriculture but also promote the overall growth of agribusinesses in the country.
Speaking on the theme: "Challenges and opportunities in agricultural financing", Nana Idun-Arkhurst highlighted the pivotal role of the banking sector in fostering the growth of the agribusiness landscape.
She also emphasised the strategic commitment of Fidelity Bank to not just support agriculture but also promote 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 value chain," she said.
Addressing the expansive opportunities within the sector, she specifically highlighted the potential within horticulture, emphasising 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," Nana Idun-Arkhurst said.
She revealed that over 10 per cent of Fidelity Bank's loan portfolio had been actively dedicated to the support of the agricultural sector.
In alignment with its commitment to bolstering the agribusiness landscape, Nana Idun-Arkhurst mentioned Fidelity Bank's collaborative efforts with pivotal stakeholders, citing notable partnerships with Development Bank Ghana (DBG), Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), and others to provide financing and technical support for agribusinesses.
She mentioned 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 Idun-Arkhurst said: "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.”