Stanbic Bank has reiterated its commitment to give farmers easy access to loan facilities to help them adopt better technology, and to buy better quality seeds and fertilizers.
Over the years, Stanbic Bank has been a major contributor towards the development of the agricultural sector.
“Certainly if a farmer comes to us to demonstrate to us his business’ acumen and set-up to be able to handle agricultural loan, we will grant him or her, the loan,” said Alhassan Andani, the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank.
Mr Andani said this when the bank donated a Nissan Pick-Up Double Cabin Truck valued at GH₵ 90,000 to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The Bank has a full-fledged agriculture finance unit, which finances needs and opportunities tied in with the policy and priority interventions of government for the sustainable growth of the industry.
The Bank is hopeful that easier access to loans would help farmers increase incomes and improve livelihoods.
The agricultural sector’s contribution to Ghana’s GDP dwindled from 31.9 per cent in 2010 to about 19 per cent in 2015. This contribution further decreased in 2016 as government cut its 2016 expenditure on the sector by about GH₵ 40 million.
According to the World Bank, more than 70 per cent of small farmers have no access to credit from a financial institution, and many are often forced to rely on “extortionate money lenders”.
Since 2006, Stanbic Bank has been annually donating a pick-up to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to hand over to the 3rd National Best Farmer.
Stanbic’s continuous participation in the programme, according to Mr Andani, is to demonstrate its recognition and support for agriculture as a real opportunity for economic growth in Ghana.
“We at Stanbic Bank and the entire Standard Bank understand that Agriculture is really a growth opportunity for Africa and Ghana so we do all we can to focus attention on the development of the sector,” he said.
Stanbic Bank over the years has been committed to creating prosperity by providing critical social support in education, sports development, poverty relief, health and environmental protection.