The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has posted impressive financial growth in its half-year results even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc to all sectors of the economy including the financial sector.

But the unaudited half-year results published by the Bank last week showed growth in all key performances such as assets, deposits, loans, net interest income and others also saw an appreciable growth.

The Bank’s total asset grew by more than ¢800 million or 17.17% from ¢4.04 billion to ¢4.88 billion on the back of 26.6% growth in the loan book from ¢1.22 billion to ¢1.66 billion from June 2019 to June 2020.

It has been able to increase its deposits, despite the uncertainty of customers about how and what to save, from ¢2.95 billion to ¢3.68 billion, a difference of ¢727.77 million or 19.76 per cent growth.

Dr. John Kofi Mensah, the Bank’s Managing Director, noted that the bank stayed true to its core business of financing agriculture and agribusinesses and with the pandemic, the nation needed to secure its food production process.

According to him “the pandemic has shown to us that we are on the right path when it comes to sustaining Ghana’s food security. With our borders closed and other trading partners closing their borders, it meant that we are have to look inward to keep feeding ourselves and with strategic financing from us, our farmers and players along the agric value chain have not disappointed,”.

He touched on some of the bank’s initiatives including the comprehensive financing scheme for the poultry value chain, which he believes could make Ghana become self-sufficient in poultry production by 2022.

The bank recently presented a ¢23.2million loan facility to six players in the poultry value chain and this is to be replicated nationwide within the next two years.

The facility would finance a comprehensive ¢500 million programme, that would reduce reliance on imported chicken, protect the local currency and promote sustainable jobs in the agriculture sector.

The project, expected to be replicated in six other regions of the country is being coordinated in partnership with the Ministries of Finance, and food and agriculture; and the Outgrower and Value Chain Fund (OVCF) and Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project (GIRSAL).

According to Dr Kofi Mensah, the Bank’s digital banking products kept it in business during the period since customers could still do business without necessarily being in the Banking halls.

“Being a caring bank we rolled out several digital channels and reduced the cost of using them to ensure our customers remained with us, he said.

Dr Mensah said most of the loans were targeted at agribusiness so as to avoid any possibility of food shortage in the medium and long term.