‘Fidelity Bank Committed To Driving Agribusiness In Ghana’

Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst (middle) was part of a panel discussion


FIDELITY BANK Ghana has reaffirmed its firm dedication to the agricultural sector at a recent presidential breakfast meeting on agriculture and agribusiness financing in Ghana.

Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking at Fidelity Bank, who disclosed this, said Fidelity Bank was not only committed to supporting agriculture but also promoting the overall growth of agribusiness, emphasising the importance of collaboration with other stakeholders to provide comprehensive support to the sector.

Participating in a panel discussion themed “Challenges and Opportunities in Agricultural Financing,” she highlighted the pivotal role of the banking sector in fostering the growth of the agribusiness landscape.

“It is imperative that we shift our attention not solely to agriculture but also to the comprehensive enhancement of the agribusiness domain,” stated Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst.

Addressing the expansive opportunities within the sector, she highlighted the potential within horticulture, emphasising the necessity of collaborations 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 articulated.

She also revealed that over 10 percent of Fidelity Bank’s loan portfolio was actively dedicated to the support of the agricultural sector.

In alignment with its commitment to bolstering the agribusiness landscape, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst shed light on Fidelity Bank’s collaborative efforts with pivotal stakeholders, citing notable partnerships with Development Bank Ghana, Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), and others to provide financing and technical support for agribusinesses.

Furthermore, she emphasised the need for comprehensive and accessible data on various facets of agriculture, including farm ownership and yields.

Underscoring the challenges faced by financial institutions in accurately assessing the risk associated with agricultural financing, Nana Esi noted, “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. There is a lot more that needs to be done to make it easier for the sector to grow.”

The breakfast meeting, organised by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, was designed to illuminate the opportunities and challenges within the sector and promote synergy among stakeholders to bolster support for the industry. The event was attended by President Akufo-Addo, top executives from various financial institutions, and key players across the agriculture value chain.

A business desk report