The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) Limited, yesterday presented a cheque for GH¢536,000 to the 2019 National Best Farmer, Mr Charles Gyamfi.
The amount which is to be used to expand his business is a replacement of the original package that involved the putting up of a building for the National Best Farmer.
The Managing Director of the Bank, Dr John Kofi Mensah presenting the cheque said the change in the prize was at the instance of major stakeholders who put up a strong case for more resources to be pumped into their farms instead of the building.
He stated that the utilisation plan of Mr Gyamfi was approved and announced that the bank was satisfied with it and urged him to adopt all possible means to promote the agricultural policy of the country.
“Mr Gyamfi in his proposal indicated that part of the money would be used to expand existing farms by purchasing production inputs and part would be used to acquire and install irrigation facilities to address the erratic weather conditions,” Dr Mensah added.
According to the MD, the National Best Farmer also indicated that more warehouses would be constructed to store farm produce as well as additional farm houses and engage about 30 new staff as part of the expansion drive.
Dr Mensah expressed the bank’s commitment to ensure that the agricultural sector continues to play critical role in the country’s economic growth.
He explained that the bank has earmarked 50per cent of its loan portfolio for individuals and organisations in the agricultural sector as its latest strategy, adding that “the bank was on course to achieve that target as it partners the government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to implement projects and programmes aimed at modernising agriculture and improving condition of farmers and fishers.”
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto commended the bank for the continuous support of the country’s best farmers.
“I am really amazed at the huge amount involved to the extent that part would be used to construct irrigation facilities to improve and strengthen his business,” he added.
He indicated that the benefit would also go down to the people who would be employed to the realisation of the country’s food production policies.
“The agricultural bank is for farmers, so let all the money and investments of the bank go to farmers,” he added.
Mr Gyamfi expressed his gratitude to government and the urged financial institutions to reduce their lending rates to enable farmers expand their businesses.