Ghana: Finance Minister charges stakeholders in finance, agric sectors to collaborate

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has charged stakeholders in the financial sector and the agricultural value chain to build coherence to achieve success in agribusiness. According to him, there is the need for both sectors to realign to find a common purpose that will lead to the full implementation of policies that will sustain agribusinesses and contribute to agricultural transformation.

Speaking at the re-launch of the Ghana Incentive-based Risk-sharing for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) Scheme and the launch of an Agribusiness Public-Private Partnership, Mr. Ofori Atta said, “there is the need for clarity of vision and unity of purpose.

“We can certainly put in place the foundations that will allow our agricultural sector supply the whole of Africa. However difficult the decisions we must make, the country will never forgive us if we do not use the policy tools at our disposal to advance reforms and truly unleash the potential of the agricultural sector.”

“These are very difficult times but maybe this is the time for us to take hard decisions. No one should pretend that it will be easy. History has shown that being pragmatic and incremental creates enormous transformation over time,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana has pledged its commitment to continue to modify regulations to enable banks grant loans to facilitate growth in the agricultural sector.

The Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo Awadzi reiterated the central bank’s pledge to encourage collaboration between the two sectors.

“We will continue to fine-tune our rules to ensure that our regulatory environment support banks to take risks in a prudent manner so that they can support more real sector activities.”

“Also, the Bank of Ghana’s work on the Sustainable Banking Principles which we launched in November 2019 in conjunction with the Association of Banks and Environmental Protection Agency, provided impetus for banks to lend to agriculture”

On his part, Chief Executive of GIRSAL, Kwesi Korboe explained that his outfit launched the Agribusiness Public-Private Partnership Platform to lead to a holistic approach to agricultural development as he believes there are more strategies that can complement efforts from the financial sector to support agribusiness.

“We believe that finance alone will not solve the issues. There’s a need for a holistic, cross-cutting sectorial approach so that various key actors will play their roles in ensuring that we’re competitive. We (GIRSAL) sit in-between the banks and the agribusinesses but we believe that we’re positioned to leverage on that relationship to bring in other state actors. This we believe will lead to policy coherence, better collaboration and better coordination,” he stated.

Source: JoyNews