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Business News of Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Source: 3news

Food insecurity to hit Ghana – Agribusiness Chamber

File photo: Ghanaian food produce File photo: Ghanaian food produce

CEO of Chamber of Agribusiness, Anthony Morrison, has said that Ghana needs to establish a seed bank immediately in order to forestall food insecurity that could plague the country.

He explained that seeds that are used in growing almost 90 percent of the crops and vegetables are imported into the country. If problems occur in these countries, he said, Ghana will suffer to grow its crops as a result of overreliance on those countries for seeds.

He called on financial institutions and other banks to support in the establishment of a national seed bank to ensure that this problem does not emerge in the country.

He said this on the Business Focus with Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Monday May 24 while discussing the establishment of the National Development (NDB).

The agriculture sector in Ghana requires some serious interventions not from the private sector but the government, he said.

He added “When those facilities are available, the private sector will then see the need to make the necessary investment. For instance there is a need for a national seed bank which we do not have.

“We do not have the seed industry over 90 per cents of all crops and vegetables we produce here, all the seeds are imported. If there is a challenge in these countries we import seeds from then there is an issue of food security in Ghana.

“So there are some strategic infrastructure you will need on the ground for some serious investment takeoffs from the private sector.

“So what is the clarity for the establishment of the bank? The clarity is not there.

Director of Financial Services at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Sampson Akugoh, for his part, threw more lights on the rationale behind the establishment of the National Development Bank (NDB).

He said the bank will enhance the capacity of other banks including the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to enable them achieve their objectives.

Speaking on the Business Focus he said “When the Minister of Finance mention about the establishment of the national development bank, the key focus he talked about is medium to long term financing.

The way commercial banks work fundamentally commercial banks mobilize deposits because it has short term. And it is based on these deposits that they create credits in the economy.

“The need for the Development Bank Ghana is really to create a superior institution that does not do the work of ADB but actually enhances the capacity of ADB to provide financing that is currently not in.”

The Ministry of Finance and the European Investment Bank have signed an agreement for the provision of a one hundred- and seventy-million-euro (€170 million) facility for the establishment of a new national bank, the Development Bank Ghana (DBG).

DBG is an integral feature of the GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares ‘Obaatampa’ Project, which is seeing to the revitalization of the Ghanaian economy following the onset of COVID-19.

This event took place on Wednesday, 19th May 2021, when the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, held a meeting with the President of the European Investment Bank, Dr. Werner Hoyer, as part of his official visit to Belgium.

The €170 million facility, according Dr. Hoyer, is the largest facility provided by the European Investment Bank for the establishment of a development bank in Africa or for any other project, for that matter, on the continent.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Akufo-Addo noted that “the Development Bank Ghana is going to play a very important part in the rapid economic transformation of Ghana, following the onset of COVID-19.”

According to him, “We want to restructure the economy, and move it from being a mere producer and exporter of raw materials, to one that places much greater emphasis on value addition activities. We see this Bank (DBG) as one that will play a pivotal role in this”.

The President indicated that the design and operation of the Bank, “which has been on the drawing board for the last two years”, will satisfy the highest standards, scrutiny and best practices of Development Banks across the world, assuring further that the €170 million facility from the EIB will be used for the purposes for which it was sought.”

President Akufo-Addo reiterated that the provision of this facility signals the determination of the Ghana to continue partnering with the EU, with the President informing Dr. Hoyer that Ghana will fall on the EIB to continue to finance other projects in the pipeline, as the country works to recover from the impact of COVID-19.