The Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank PLC (ADB), Dr. John Kofi Mensah, has said the bank is ready to partner religious bodies to venture into Agriculture.
According to Dr. Kofi Mensah, religious organisations should take advantage of government intervention programmes like Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Fertiliser subsidy etc. to continue impacting society.
The ADB Managing Director said this last Friday at the official sod-cutting ceremony for commencement of the Anglican Diocese of Accra Rubber Plantation project at Assin Nsuta in the Central Region being financed by the bank. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs and add about 1,535 tonnes of raw wet cup lumps annually to the country’s rubber production in the country.
The ADB Managing Director commended the church for its initiative to venture into tree crop plantations (especially rubber) to ensure financial sustainability and create jobs for its members. “This initiative is highly commendable and an indication of the church’s preparedness to also contribute in national development,” he said.
Dr. Kofi Mensah disclosed that the long-standing relationship with notable religious bodies, including the Anglican Church, makes it comfortable to finance the project.
The Anglican Bishop of Accra, Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto, said the initiative is part of the church’s five pillars of existence and operations.
According to Bishop Torto the initiative is part of efforts by the church to also take advantage of several government initiatives including the One District, One Factory and Planting for Export and Rural Development.
He said the decision to approach ADB was because of its renewed focus on the agricultural sector and its wealth of experience in the rubber industry, which the bank has been financing in the Western, Central and Ashanti Regions since 1995.
The sod-cutting to kick-start the project was done by Vice President Alhaji Mahamadu Bawumia, with a call on all other religious organisations to emulate the Anglican Church.
Other dignitaries present were the Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan; Deputy Minister for Education and MP for Assin South Constituency, John Ntim Fordjour; Chief Executive of the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultrual Lending, Kwesi Korboe and others.