The Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ADB) is the lead bank for agricultural financing in the country.
Set up for the purpose of developing the agricultural sector, ADB has over time used various avenues to channel financial resources into the sector to propel it to higher heights.
With about 83 network branches nationwide, ADB is the only bank in the country with branch locations in mainly agricultural prone areas.
The Management of the Bank recently launched a new three-year Strategic Plan, re-emphasising the bank’s agricultural focus
The primary aim of the new strategy is to increase the share of agriculture in the total loan portfolio of the Bank to 50% by 2022 from the current 28%.
Towards achieving this goal, the Bank in 2018 restructured the Agricultural Finance Department into an Agribusiness Division with a General Manager who is part of Executive Management.
The Bank also established a Business Support Unit to support the two departments under the Agribusiness Division and to coordinate the enhanced collaboration between the Bank and MDAs in the agricultural and allied sectors.
SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES
ADB has been a key partner and collaborator of several government programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ), Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) as well as the One District One Factory Initiative (1D1F).
The Bank invested about GHS100.00 million to support the purchase of fertilizers and certified seeds under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme. Over the last two planting seasons, the Bank has also supported the National Food Buffer Stock Company Ltd with an amount of GHS70.0 million to purchase grains produced under the PFJ.
SUPPORT FOR ONE DISTRICT ONE FACTORY
The Bank has been an active partner for the implementation of the novel One District One Factory (1D1F). So far fourteen companies have received approval totaling GHS51.28 million to undertake among others broiler production and processing, fruit processing, jute bags production as well as fish farming and processing.
A total of 41 projects have also received conditional approval pending further due diligence and final approval. In addition, the Bank has approved a composite facility of GHS29.50 million to enable outgrowers cultivate pineapple to support the Ekumfi Juice and Fruits Factory.
PURCHASE OF 1300 OUTBOARD MOTORS FOR MINISTRY OF FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE & THE COASTAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The Bank has over the years imported outboard motors for sale to fishers at cost either under lease financing or through direct sales. In 2020, the Bank imported 1,300 outboard motors made up of 1200 (40HP) and 100 (15HP) Yamaha products at a cost of GH¢19.8million for the Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Coastal Development Authority. The Bank absorbed all incidental and related costs amounting to about GH¢7.0 million.
GH¢500M LOAN PACKAGE FOR BROILER REVITALISATION PROGRAMME
To further contribute to government’s effort at reducing the importation of poultry into the country, the Bank this year announced the implementation of the Broiler Revitalization Programme. The initiative aims to invest a total of GH¢500.00 million of soft loans in businesses in the broiler value chain to help achieve the following:
• Serve as import substitute for the huge volumes of poultry products imported into the country annually
• Provide employment to a number of youth (a minimum of 550) in each of the regions where the scheme would be implemented
• Provide healthy and fresh protein sources for Ghanaians
• Revive the poultry industry which once was a major source of livelihood for farmers in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and the then Brong Ahafo regions
• Engender the production of maize and soya beans, major feed ingredients for broiler production
• To adequately feed the Hospitality Industry
The project is to be implemented in six regions of the country namely Bono, Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Western and Greater Accra Regions. Approval has been given and disbursement commenced for the pilot programme in the Bono Region. Replication in Greater Accra and Eastern Region has commenced with identification of participating value chain players.
Implementation in the Central and Western Regions would begin in the first quarter of 2021. The initiative is the bank’s support to the government’s Broiler Revitalisation Programme that was aimed at increasing domestic production of chicken.
FARMERS’ DAY SUPPORT
The Agricultural Development Bank has since 1987 been the lead sponsor of the National Best Farmer Awards. The Bank’s association and continuous sponsorship of these events over the years is an incontrovertible evidence of its commitment to support our gallant farmers & Fishers and also an indication of our desire to remain focused on our founding mandate to provide financial intermediation to the agricultural sector. The bank hitherto provided previous national best farmers with fully furnished three bed room houses at places of their choice.
In 2017, following strong advocacy and presentations by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Past National Best Farmers, a decision was taken to change the first price to cedi equivalent of US$100,000.00. This is to enable the award winners invest the fund to expand their businesses and provide additional employment. So far the Best Farmers have prudently utilized their prize monies to expand their businesses.
PRIORITY AREAS FOR 2020-2023
The Bank has assessed the prospects of various value chains using factors such as potential for growth, value addition potential, size of the value chain, demand for produce/product, export potential, import substitution potential as well as financial viability and has earmarked the following value chains as priority areas for financing.
• Poultry Value Chain
• Fish value chain
• Maize Value Chain
• Cassava Value Chain
• Potato Value Chain
• Rice Value Chain
• Oil Palm Value Chain
• Exportable Vegetables
The bank would provide working capital for the production and processing of these commodities as well as medium to long term funds to finance production and processing infrastructure.
The Bank recognizes the fact that the most prudent and sustainable approach to agricultural and rural development is the adoption of a well-balanced and integrated social and economic development programmes and policies which enhance both agricultural and non-agricultural activities such as cottage level industries, education, health and social welfare. To this end the bank would continue to support industries, education and health programmes through its lending and social responsibility programmes.