The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has called for deeper collaboration between the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and Asanteman to strengthen the development of agriculture in the Ashanti Region.
He observed that currently access to credit by farmers in the region had become a major hindrance to the interest of many of his people to venture into agriculture.
“The inability of my people and Ghanaians in general to access loans from Banks like ADB is a major contribution to people giving their lands out for other non-agricultural related ventures” he said when Board and Management members of the ADB called on him at the Manhyia Palace.
The delegation, made up of the MD of ADB, Dr. John Kofi Mensah, Prof David Abdulai (Board Member), Madam Nana Serwa Bonsu (Board Member) ,Mr Alhassan Yakubu-Tali (Deputy Managing Director), Mr. Maxwell Amoakoehene (General Counsel) and other Executive Management Members of the Bank, was there to commiserate Otumfuo on the final funeral rites of the Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.
Otumfuo thanked the Bank for the visit and their long time presence in the region.
Despite the challenges in securing loans from banks, the Asantehene said that ADB has done well in the region but there was the need for them to do more in the area of loans to farmers.
Managing Director of the Bank, Dr. John Kofi Mensah, pledged the commitment of the Bank to the wish of the Asantehene and indicated that the Bank was working to bring banking closer to farmers.
“We have set up specialized agricultural desks in 36 out of our 78 branches to address the needs of our farmers,” he said.
Dr. Mensah said that the Bank will in the coming years introduce more innovative products and services that will make banking easily accessible to farmers.
According to Dr. Mensah ADB has shown commitment to government by supporting it with 200 million Ghana cedis for the one district, one factory programme.
We are working to ensure that in 2018 we bring banking closer to our farmers, he said.