Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking at Fidelity Bank, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst says 10 percent of the Bank’s loan portfolio is “actively dedicated” to the support of the agricultural sector.
She highlighted Fidelity Bank’s strategic dedication to supporting agriculture and fostering overall agribusiness growth. The bank is actively collaborating with various stakeholders to offer comprehensive support to the sector.
Ms Idun-Arkurst was addressing the presidential breakfast meeting on agriculture and agribusiness financing in Ghana, organized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The event was designed to highlight the opportunities and challenges within the sector and promote synergy among stakeholders to bolster support for the industry.
Participating in a panel discussion under the theme: “Challenges and Opportunities in Agricultural Financing”, Ms Idun-Arkhurst highlighted the pivotal role of the banking sector in fostering the growth of the agribusiness landscape.
Her presentation emphasised “Fidelity’s unwavering dedication to steering the agricultural and agribusiness sectors”.
“It is imperative that we shift our attention not solely to agriculture, but also to the comprehensive enhancement of the agribusiness domain,” Ms Idun-Arkhurst stated.
Addressing the expansive opportunities in the sector, she highlighted the potentials in horticulture, with the necessity of collaboration 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,” she stated.
Ms. Idun-Arkhurst noted that Fidelity Bank’s collaborations with key stakeholders, including the Development Bank Ghana, Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), and others, to offer financial and technical support to agribusinesses.
She advocated for the implementation of comprehensive and accessible agricultural data, covering aspects like farm ownership and yields. Ms. Idun-Arkurst voiced concern about the difficulties financial institutions face in accurately assessing risks associated with agricultural financing.
“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,” she explained.
She noted that a lot more needed to be done to make it easier for the sector to grow.
She, however, declared: “As this vital sector continues its upward trajectory, Fidelity Bank stands resolute in its commitment to fostering collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders and authorities.
“This collaborative effort is instrumental in propelling the agricultural sector towards sustainable growth and prosperity, creating an enabling environment for the holistic development of Ghana’s agribusiness landscape.”