Business News of 2013-12-20

ADB helps to reduce post-harvest losses

The effort by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to help minimise post-harvest losses in the country’s agriculture sector has seen some significant improvement, with the investment of GH¢208 million, this year by the bank to finance value-chain activities.

According to the bank, it has been able to support value-chain activities such as export and food cropping, poultry farming, aqua-culture and inputs supply to also ensure relief to farmers.

Sylvia Nyanteh, Executive Head of Agriculture Finance Department at ADB, who made this known recently in Accra, said ADB has lately been also making interventions in financing warehousing facilities, cold storage facilities, simple agro processing equipment, appropriate harvesting equipment, agro processing factories, agro marketing companies and the acquisition of haulage trucks.

“We provide facilities to primary producers who would like to further process their produce or engage in other activities aimed at increasing the shelf life of their produce or reduce post harvest losses.

“We also provide facilities to customers along the value chain who themselves are not primary producers but offer services to primary producers aimed at reducing post harvest losses,” Ms Nyanteh told BUSINESS GUIDE.

Commenting on the type of projects that farmers could present for consideration, she indicated that “the project should be market-driven. There should be identified and confirmed market for products as well as confirmed volumes. For start-up projects, applicants should present a business plan which could be a single sheet explaining their business concept.”

Steve Kpordzih, Managing Director (MD) of ADB, commenting on the bank’s policy stated: “As a bank, we cannot but recognise the implication of post-harvest losses to loan impairment on the part of our core clients.

“We are therefore keen on investing in the financing of the post-harvest sector, which includes all points in the value chain from production in the field to the consumption point in the case of food and the supply of industrial raw materials to the manufacturing point. Post-harvest activities include harvesting, handling, drying and curing, storage, processing, packaging, transportation, improved technologies and marketing,” he added.

ADB’s three-year strategic plan, which ended last year witnessed approvals to the agriculture sector increasing from GH¢39,239,994.27 in 2009 to GH¢146, 871,552.00 in 2012.