ADB On Target - MD

The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has opened a new branch at Bole in the Northern Region, bringing to a total of four the bank’s branches in the region, including Yendi, Savelugu and Walewale, which came into existence in the last quarter of last year in addition to the Navorongo branch in the Upper East region. The Managing Director of ADB, Mr Stephen Kpordzih, said the increased presence of ADB in the Northern sector of Ghana is to give a strong indication of the bank’s commitment towards the development of agriculture in communities which play a crucial role in the overall business of agriculture in the country. He said the branch expansion program embarked upon by the bank is to attract more of the unbanked population and give potential customers more choice of location in doing banking with ADB, which will go a long way to increase deposit mobilization and in turn lend more to customers. He said in their quest to attain the highest height in universal banking operations in the banking sector and to remain the number one financier in the agric sector with an objective of increasing the share of agriculture in the bank’s credit portfolio to 40%, adding that the bank is on course to meet its targets and rediscover its founding mission. He said lending to the agricultural sector climbed to Ghc174.2 million in 2010 from Ghc105.3 million the previous year representing an increase of 64.5%. According to the ABD managing director it also meant an increase in the share of agriculture of the total credit portfolio from 24.1% to 28.9% over the same period last year, giving an indication that the percentage of agriculture in the bank’s lending portfolio will go up by the end of this year’s financial year. Mr Kpodzih said the total amount of loan approvals made in the first half of this year for agricultural purposes increased by nearly 70% as compared with approvals made in the same period last year, giving an indication that the percentage of agriculture in total lending portfolio which will go up by the end of 2011 financial year. He noted that ADB has positioned itself to lead in the design and implementation of collaboration and cooperation among key stakeholders in agriculture and development finance in the identification of potentials and the sharing of information to improve business delivery and strategic policy implementation with a singular purpose of improving business chain process, production, processing and marketing of agriculture produce, underlining the significance of the bank’s sponsorship of the national food and agriculture show last year and this year. He said the bank has developed a more sharpened focus on agriculture through the availability of asset financing facilities to assist in the development of a more mechanized agricultural industry in Ghana. The Board Chairman of ADB, Ibrahim Adam, said ADB is not meant for farmers alone as only 30% of their credit facility goes into the agric sector. He said any legitimate business can access loans from the bank. He said the opening of a branch in Tumu in the Upper West Region is dedicated to their customers at the local level since Tumu may be isolated and it will go a long way to assist in the cultivation of cotton in that area. He said the bank is introducing new packages where customers will have access to their cash through the ATM system which has been expanded and modernized as new systems are being introduced. Mr Ibrahim Adam said the bank is creating a new platform through the creation of new branches across the country. He said so far about twenty branches have been opened throughout the country which according to him cost the bank a fortune but quite a strategic banking plan observing that ADB is growing by the day. The Bole Wura pledged his support for the bank and promised to assist in whatever capacity to ensure that the bank succeeds in its operation in the district. The Member of Parliament for Bole, Hon Joseph Akati Saaka urged the bank to cooperate with his constituents by showing them respect. He asked the people of Bole to take advantage of the presence of the bank to boost their business.