Stanbic pledges support for agric sector

•   The bank intends to focus on financing agribusiness.

• The bank intends to focus on financing agribusiness.

Stanbic Bank Ghana has pledged to scale up its support for the agricultural sector in 2016.

Over the years, the contribution of the sector to Ghana’s GDP has been dwindling. It fell from 31.9 per cent in 2010 to about 19 per cent in 2015.

The bank intends to support the sector by focusing on financing agribusiness, not just primary production but all touch points along selected value chains.

As a major contributor to the development of the agricultural sector in recent times, Stanbic has been financing needs and opportunities tied in with the policy and priority interventions of government for the accelerated and sustainable growth of the industry.

On the occasion of the Farmers Day celebration week, Alhassan Andani, CEO of Stanbic Bank said the bank would prioritise secondary value chain financing to help make cash flow based financing a dominant element in the bank’s support for the sector.

Mr. Andani added that for Ghana to get back to full economic recovery there is the need to invest more in the agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the country’s economy.

The bank is already collaborating with other key operators in the sector to improve conditions.“We forge stronger collaboration with stakeholders in the agricultural sector and development partners and agencies such as EDAIF to secure cheaper sourcing of financing for our agripreneurs,” Mr. Andani said.

Stanbic has led the way with key projects that are reshaping the agricultural landscape in Ghana .

The bank financed Ghana’s first plant for the processing of cassava into ethanol and carbon dioxide in the Volta Region.

It is valued at 4.5 million dollars. A 3.2 million Pound Sterling funding to the horticultural processing and export segment is also noteworthy. Equally significant is the GHS5 million support for the soya bean value chain including soy purchases, oil milling and poultry feed production and distribution.

“We are also supporting downstream operators in the drive to generate feed material for the breweries using local raw materials like cassava, sorghum and maize,for beer,” Mr. Andani said.

Hard work merits rewards and the bank has been at the core of the annual drive to reward farmers and fishers. This year,just as in the last eight years, Stanbic donated a Nissan Pick-Up Double Cabin Truck valued at GHS90,000 to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the National Farmers Day celebrations held at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

Come 2016, the bank intends to invest more in areas such as aggregation and commodity trade, agro processing of grains, nuts, horticultural products and animal feed; integrated poultry and livestock production and processing. Also to receive some support will be commercial crop farming, the agro input supply chain and cassava end to end value chain financing.

The bank’s contribution to primary production will hinge on the availability of requisite infrastructure and other concrete risk mitigation measures such as irrigation, insurance cover and guarantee schemes from partner agencies.

These factors, he projected, will create enormous opportunities for investment in production of feed materials, expansion of warehousing capacity, processing factories and equipment for abattoirs and hatcheries.

“Government’s 40 per cent local purchase quota for imported poultry products and the drive for accelerated import substitution in rice and sugar will influence our operations,” he added.

By Times Reporter

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