Financial institutions have been urged by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to provide greater assistance to agriculture and agribusinesses in order to expand the industry.
He claimed that the limited amount of financial resources available to the industry was concerning and that if more were provided, the GDP growth of the nation would be aided.
During a panel discussion on agriculture and agribusiness funding at the second presidential breakfast meeting in Accra, which 1Family Radio was watching, President Akufo-Addo made this declaration.
Financial institution CEOs and other key players in attendance talked about how to create partnerships that will benefit financial institutions as well as the food and agriculture sectors in order to open doors for increased resource mobilization to support the agriculture sector.
As an illustration, the President stated that the agriculture sector received only 24% of the loans from the ADB Bank.
Other lenders include Fidelity Bank (10%), Ghana Commercial Bank (25%), and Opportunity International (27%), which distributes around 27% of its loan portfolio to 22,000 farmers.
“There are 3.5 million farmers in Ghana who are able to get 27 percent of your loan portfolio. With respect, my understanding is that we are scratching the surface of the problem. We need to come to grips with and pool our resources, expertise, and talents together to resolve this,’’ President Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo went on to say that the nation’s farmers were industrious people who relied on the assistance of financial institutions to boost their productivity.
Dr. Brian Acheampong, the Minister of Agriculture, said that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative had been converted into an input credit scheme.