Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Dr. John Kofi Mensah, has stated that the continued sponsorship of the farmers day celebrations is a testament of the Bank’s commitment to support Ghana’s gallant farmers and fishers.
This, he said, is a further indication of ADB’s desire to remain focused on its founding mandate as the lead bank to provide financial intermediation to the agricultural sector.
He assured that ADB remains the only Bank with full commitment to the growth of agriculture-sector businesses with various products specially packaged, taking cognizance of the unique characteristics of various players in the agricultural value chain.
Speaking at the National Farmers Forum at Techiman in the Bono East Region, Dr. Kofi Mensah said COVID-19 has further established the critical role of the agricultural sector to Ghana’s economic development.
The farmers day Forum, he said, is a special event for all stakeholders in the Agricultural sector since it is the only one that brings all players within the value chain together to deliberate and offer workable solutions for the betterment of the sector.
He stressed that the theme for this year’s Farmers’ Day celebration, “Ensuring agribusiness development under COVID-19 – Opportunities and challenges” cannot be more appropriate, looking at the need to increase agricultural production and productivity to meet the nutritional needs of the populace when they need it most.
He mentioned that aside sponsoring the ultimate prize of US$100,000, the National Farmers’ Forum has also become part of the bank’s sponsorship package for the National Farmers Day Celebrations, to give hardworking farmers the opportunity to network, share personal experiences with other Farmers, Policy Makers, Executives and Officials from ADB.
He disclosed that the Bank is implementing a strategic plan to increase the share of agricultural loans in its total loan portfolio to a minimum of 50% in 2022.
According to him, in the midst of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank introduced a number of programmes including the Broiler Outgrower Programme for which an amount of GHS500.00 million has been earmarked.
“This programme is expected to help reduce the large volume of chicken and chicken parts imported into the country annually.”
“The Bank in 2020, also collaborated with OVCF and GIRSAL to implement a special lending to rice millers to enable them purchase paddy from farmers for milling and sale on the local market.”
“The Bank also collaborated with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in 2020 to import 1,300 units of outboard motors for sale to fishers at subsidized prices. This is indeed the Bank for farmers and Fishers,” he said.
Dr. Kofi Mensah assured that ADB will continue to support farmers and fishers with tailor-made products and services at affordable rates.
The Bank, he stressed, will continue to follow discussions at the forum with the expectation that the deliberations will lead to the adoption of better agricultural practices and higher productivity to make its agricultural financing a sustainable and worthy one.