Stanbic Bank Ghana is working with its partners within the Agribusiness sector to facilitate a $5.8 million funding for the construction of a cassava/starch processing factory in Jomoro in the Western Region of Ghana.
It is part of the bank’s value addition support for the agricultural sector.
This was revealed by Benedict Kwasi Obeng, Acting Head of Agribusiness, Stanbic Bank, at the Sixth Agricultural Industrialization Conference held in Takoradi and organized by the Torchbearer International Agricultural Science and Technology (TIAST) Group.
“As part of our interventions for growth in the sector, we are finalizing a financing support of US$5.8m for a cassava starch processing farm in Jomoro,” he said.
According to Benedict Kwasi Obeng, who is also the Head of Business Development and Origination at the bank, Stanbic’s support for the country’s agricultural sector is another opportunity for the bank to drive the country’s growth.
“For us at Stanbic, this partnership is another opportunity to drive Ghana’s growth and we will work with TIAST to ensure that the markets are properly developed and that our farmers don’t get saddled with low prices that cassava currently brings in. We are rather aiming for prices in the region of what the cocoa crop commands,” he said.
He further underscored the need for farmers to organize and position themselves properly to safeguard their interests as farmers.
He noted that “to tap into the export market, we encourage cassava, rice and other crop farmers to be consistent and predictable in the quantities and qualities they make available. As we go into this old but new area, we do not expect to see individual farmers chasing small volumes. For example, we should be able to organize a Ghana cassava exporters group, which will look out for the interest of every cassava farmer. This is equally applicable to other crops.”
“We believe in finding new ways of with such a body, it will be easier to approach the export market with your produce. The group can then sign a ton per acre contract in US Dollars and this they would work backwards to ensure that each individual farmer reaps the full benefit of trading on the international markets. It is in this light that the Ghana Export Promotion Authority has approached the partnership to support and drive the initiative for value across the value chain and ultimately impact the Agricultural sector and the economy as a whole,” he added.
Mr. Obeng further noted that Stanbic Bank’s partnership with the TIAST Group reinforces the bank’s credentials as a key partner for China-Africa trade relations.
He said: “The deal further cements Stanbic Bank’s Africa-China Banking Proposition (ACAP) designed to assist clients who engage in international trade with China. Through this proposition, we are able to effectively facilitate the exportation of processed cassava and starch to China and other parts of the world.”
Madam Priscilla Fiati, a Business Development Manager at the TIAST Group, mentioned that the demand for some of the processed end products like cassava starch has gained a huge demand on the international market exceeding its supply which Ghana must benefit by producing for this ready market.
She noted that China alone imports over 3 million of cassava starch every single year worth $30 billion and expressed the hope that Ghana can be part of a value chain “where everything we produce can earn us millions of US dollars annually, help create more jobs and alleviate poverty”.