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US$15m funding boost for agric sector

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Julian Opuni (left), the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, exchanging the agreement with Maxine Chehab, the Manager for Investment Management at Finance in Motion

The country’s agricultural sector is set for a major boost with a US$15 million funding meant to support the entire value chain within the sector.

This was after eco.business Fund, an impact investment fund, partnered Fidelity Bank Ghana to expand access to finance for agribusinesses in the country.

As part of the agreement, eco.business, advised by Finance in Motion, is extending the amount as an on-lent to the bank to support agribusinesses that cover the entire agriculture value chain.

This will cover food production to logistics and supply chains across domestic staples and export crops while promoting production and consumption practices that contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation.

The partnership will enable the two parties to build the capacity of agribusinesses directly in key value chains and promote market linkages, climate-resilient and sustainable agricultural practices, as well as provide technical support and training to agribusinesses and bank staff.

Supporting SMEs growth

Speaking at the signing in Accra last Tuesday, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Julian Opuni, said his outfit had demonstrated its leadership by supporting the growth of the agricultural sector, not just because of the business and commercial opportunities it presented, but most importantly the direct impact it had on job creation, food security, improved livelihood and gender inclusion.

He expressed excitement as the bank builds a strong partnership with the eco.business Fund to boost the growth of the country’s agricultural sector.

That, he said, strengthened the bank’s continuous support to the growth of agribusinesses in Ghana.

“In addition to the funding, we will also provide capacity-building for customers in the agribusiness value chain.

As an indigenous bank that embodies Ghanaian excellence, we see this partnership as a catalyst for growing the SME sector as it will boost our capacity to support more SMEs in the agribusiness space,” he said.

The Manager for Investment Management at Finance in Motion, Maxine Chehab, said the bank’s solutions to agribusinesses across value chains and commitment to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), financial inclusion and sustainability made it an ideal partner for the fund.

The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of eco.business Fund, Dr Jens Mackensen, said: “We are proud to join forces with Fidelity Bank to support the entire agrifood value chain in export and domestic crops.

“The fund’s investment not only provides much needed patient capital to agribusinesses but will also have a positive impact on sustaining employment, improving sustainable agricultural practices and domestic food security.”