Ecobank Ghana PLC has donated four corn dehuskers and an articulated truck to four Yedent Agro Group of Companies aggregators and farmers in the Bono and Ahafo Regions.
According to the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana PLC, Daniel Sackey, the financing of the equipment, worth about 160,000 dollars, is to help the aggregators produce more as well as help reduce post-harvest losses.
He made the remarks during the handing over ceremony at the forecourt of Yedent Agro Group of Companies in Sunyani under the theme; “Inclusive and sustainable finance for agribusiness value chain”.
The bank facilitated the acquisition of the equipment for the aggregators through the Agro Company, which would be paid back under flexible terms.
The beneficiaries are John Kwarkye – Original Jomo Enterprise at Terchire, Ama Kwatimaa -Love Enterprise at Duayaw Nkwanta, all in the Tano North District, Oppong Kwaku -Kenneth K. Oppong Enterprise at Wamfie in the Dormaa East District, and SK Nyamebeba Enterprise at Odumase in the Sunyani West District.
Mr. Sackey said Ecobank has a dedicated desk for Agribusiness, aimed at understanding the peculiar needs of the sector to enable the Bank to position itself and support the farmers better.
He noted that the four dehuskers are expected to support about 6,000 out-growers and smallholder farmers, out of which 60% are women and from 83 different communities.
This, he explained, “is a direct initiative of the Elevate Product at Ecobank, dedicated to supporting the financing needs of women to positively impact their lives”.
The dehuskers, Mr. Sackey noted, would make the processing of harvested maize more efficient, and reduce post-harvest loss, hence more money for the farmers.
“Supporting the agribusiness value chain in the communities is important for us because it directly impacts the lives of the people, and we believe that if we do it successfully, then we can help the communities grow, help the youths stay in the communities instead of rushing to Accra for nonexistent jobs, and develop more entrepreneurs”.
He said as a bank, they appreciate the risk in agriculture, but they could do more for farmers if they would be transparent and discuss real challenges with them as they did four months ago, resulting in the support they have offered.
“We expect that you would make all payments on the mobile up so that there would be a history of payment to aid more financial support and more production”.
The Ecobank MD, Daniel Sackey, said they expect the equipment would help their client, Yedent Agro Company, to grow its business and strengthen the agribusiness value chain.
The CEO of Yedent Agro Company, Ntim Adu, expressed his excitement and thanked Ecobank for believing in their business concept and supporting the aggregators and farmers who are actors along the value chain. The Company’s activities are spread along the entire cereal and legumes value chain.
He averred the dehuskers would help his company get the about 15,000 metric tonnes of maize required from the smallholder farmers in the next year, and hoped the operators would maintain the equipment.
Oppong Kwaku of Kenneth K. Oppong Enterprise, an aggregator, said the support from Ecobank would help them produce more promptly. He assured of their readiness to honor their side of the deal to ensure that more farmers would also benefit from similar support.
The Bono Regional Minister, Justine Owusu Banahene, applauded Ecobank for the bold steps taken to support the farmers despite the risk factors and further appealed to other banks to emulate Ecobank so that farmers can expand their output to ensure food security in Ghana.
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