GIRSAL has recognized and honoured the efforts of several financial institutions and technical experts in the field of agricultural financing. Awards were presented to three commercial banks and one non-bank financial institution that excelled in lending to agribusinesses in the year 2022. Two training facilitators were also awarded for their performance in GIRSAL’s Agric and Agribusiness Lending course in the same period.
Traditionally, financial institutions have been hesitant to finance agriculture due to various risks such as low productivity, droughts, climate conditions, and the attitudes of some agribusiness owners. However, GIRSAL’s CRG scheme provides guaranteed security for banks to lend to agribusinesses, helping to reduce these insecurities. Currently, 16 commercial, 5 non-banks, and 4 rural and community banks have signed on with GIRSAL to participate in the CRG scheme.
In addition to the credit guarantee, GIRSAL’s Agricultural Lending and Technical Assistance Partner Awards were introduced to encourage more lending to the agriculture sector and to appreciate the efforts of those who are already making a positive impact in this area. The award scheme also acknowledges and appreciates the contributions of technical experts who collaborate with GIRSAL to meet annual technical assistance objectives, such as agriculture and agribusiness lending training for staff of financial institutions.
Agricultural Credit Guarantee Award Winners
Fidelity Bank has been recognized as the Overall Best Financial Institution, winning five out of the eleven award categories created by the award committee. The bank was recognized for its exceptional performance in increasing lending to the agricultural sector, as well as its collaboration with GIRSAL. Other categories in which Fidelity Bank emerged victorious included: Highest Number of GIRSAL Guaranteed Agricultural Credit in 2022; Best Quality Agricultural Credit Guarantee Application of 2022; Most Responsive Partner Financial Institution of 2022; Best Overall Partner Financial Institution of 2022; and Highest Staff Participation in GIRSAL’s Agric & Agribusiness Finance Training Program in 2022.
Additionally, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) was honoured as the Financial Institution with the Highest Total Value of GIRSAL Guaranteed Credit, and Advans Savings & Loans received the award for Non-Bank Partner Financial Institution with the Highest Value of Credit Guarantee Application in 2022. Ecobank was also acknowledged, with Mr. Kingsley Adofo Addo, head of SME & Commercial Banking, winning the Relationship Manager with the Highest Value of Credit Guarantee Application for 2022.
Technical Assistance Award Winners
Mr. Eyram Atsu, a financial risk expert, was awarded the Best Training Facilitator for Finance Courses. Additionally, Mr. Ricky Aboagye Poku, a lecturer and agribusiness expert in poultry value, won the award for Best Training Facilitator. The Managing Director of Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP), Mr. Alhaji Mohammed Ali Katu, was also recognized as the Best Guest Training Facilitator for 2022. All three winners are training facilitators in GIRSAL’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Finance Training Program.
During the presentation, the CEO of GIRSAL, Mr. Kwesi Korboe, highlighted the award’s significance in motivating the bank to increase lending to the agricultural sector. He commended the banks for their ongoing partnership and business with GIRSAL and reassured them of GIRSAL’s continued technical support in building their agribusiness portfolios. Mr. Korboe also mentioned that in 2022, GIRSAL issued over GHS 347.8 Million guarantees for agribusiness loans in various value chains. He emphasized the importance of addressing policy decisions, driving efficiency in the sector, attracting investors, and promoting import substitution.