Building Expertise: Feedback from GIRSAL and DBG’s Agricultural Lending Training Programs for Financial Institutions

Recent Updates


GIRSAL and the Development Bank Ghana (DBG) have joined forces to enhance the understanding of Ghana’s agricultural sector among financial institutions. This initiative aims to bridge the knowledge gap, facilitating better access to agricultural loans and improving loan assessment efficiency, which is crucial for the growth of agribusinesses.

GIRSAL’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Lending Course has been instrumental in achieving this mission. This program targets mid-level bank personnel responsible for assessing agribusiness loan applications, providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed decisions. Over the past four years, GIRSAL, in collaboration with the National Banking College (NBC), AGRA, and DBG, has successfully trained 660 staff from 50 financial institutions.

A Proven Track Record

The collaboration between GIRSAL, NBC, and AGRA initially trained 300 staff from 21 financial institutions. To ensure continuous learning, an online agricultural knowledge portal was developed, offering essential information for loan appraisal processes. As of March 2024, this portal has been used by over 700 bank staff, demonstrating its value and effectiveness.


Expanded Partnership with DBG

In 2022, GIRSAL partnered with DBG to extend its technical advisory services. This partnership has since trained 417 staff from 42 institutions. In late 2023, DBG extended this collaboration for an additional three years under a compact agreement, aiming to train 120 mid-level staff, 70 top management staff, and 70 directors annually. These training programs are designed to equip key decision-makers in financial institutions with the knowledge needed to support agricultural financing.


Growing Interest and Participation

The first cohort under the extended partnership was conducted from February to March 2024, training 68 participants from 21 financial institutions, achieving 57% of the annual target for 2024. The second cohort is currently in session with 63 participants from 17 financial institutions, and the final cohort for 2024 is scheduled for August.

Remarkably, the training program has garnered increasing interest from a diverse range of financial institutions, including commercial banks, Rural Community Banks, Savings and Loans, Microfinance Institutions, Development Finance Institutions, and Finance and Investment houses. This broadening interest is driven by the valuable content delivered by industry experts and practical insights into agri-loan assessment.


Positive Impact on Agricultural Lending

Participants have shared overwhelmingly positive feedback, highlighting how the program has transformed their perceptions of agriculture and improved their understanding of agricultural finance and loan assessment processes. They emphasized the practical skills and knowledge gained, which they can apply in their daily assessment of agric loan applications, ultimately boosting lending to the sector.

To hear directly from the participants about the program’s impact, click to watch the video.