The Ghana Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project (GIRSAL), through its Partner Excellence Awards, has recognised its most-active financial institutions and individuals for helping increase lending to the agriculture sector.
The awardees were honoured for supporting the agriculture sector through GIRSAL’s core programmes – the Credit Risk Guarantee Scheme and Technical Assistance and Advisory Services – in 2023.According to GIRSAL, the awardees’ efforts have played a crucial role in realising the fundamental objective of de-risking and boosting lending in the agricultural sector.
Absa Bank Ghana Limited came top, winning four of the awards under different categories, thus becoming the Partner Financial Institution (PFI) with the highest total number of GIRSAL Guaranteed Agricultural Credit; PFl with highest total value of GIRSAL Guaranteed Agricultural Credit; and winner of PFl with Best Quality Agricultural Credit Guarantee Applications.
Fidelity Bank Limited followed with two awards – Most Responsive Partner Financial Institution of the Year and Highest Staff Participation in GIRSAL’S Agric and Agribusiness Finance Training Programme. Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited also won a PFl award, with the Highest GIRSAL guaranteed Credit of the Year.
At the individual level, Eric Nkansah-GCB Bank won the GIRSAL Chief Executive Officer’s special award for Best Performing Relationship Manager of the year. Also, Ricky Aboagye Poku emerged the Best Training Facilitator in Agriculture Value Chain Courses and Eyram Atsu emerged Best Training Facilitator in Agriculture Finance Courses.
Chief Executive Officer-GIRSAL, Kwesi Korboe, in an interaction with media at the awards presentation, highlighted the crucial role played by awarded entities in advancing the economy’s backbone; encouraging a collective commitment and intensified support to unleash the agricultural sector’s potential; and the transformative impact it could have on the nation’s prosperity.
He commended the institutions contributing significantly to increasing lending for the agriculture sector, explaining that the awards are a testament to their dedicated efforts in fostering agricultural growth.
He also expressed optimism, noting that there has been a positive change in the culture of lending to the sector and an improvement in sector players’ readiness.
The interim Managing Director-Absa, Adolph Kpegah, said his outfit has been conscious about supporting agricultural sector growth through lending and capacity building along the entire value chain.
“We are truly honoured to be recognised by GIRSAL for our commitment to supporting the agricultural sector; this a testament to the dedication of our team, who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of Ghanaian farmers and agribusinesses.
“Our commitment to the sector’s growth is absolute. Agriculture is essential to Ghana’s economic development, and the high-risk challenges associated with the sector motivate us continuously to find pragmatic innovations – such as the partnership with GIRSAL to improve funding access for the sector,” added Executive Director-Retail and Business Banking, Absa Bank Ghana Ltd., Mr. Kobla Nyaletey.
For his part, Managing Director-Fidelity Bank, Julian Opuni, expressed gratitude for the recognition, highlighting the need for continued efforts to empower and uplift the sector.
He reaffirmed Fidelity Bank’s dedication to doing more, saying the potential within agriculture cannot be underestimated.
For the past three years, GIRSAL has been awarding its most active partner financial institutions which are helping increase lending to the agriculture sector through the GIRSAL Partner Excellence Awards.
The awards are an annual event to honour the significant contributions of partners – both institutions and individuals – as well as encourage more lending to the agriculture sector.
It also provides an avenue to appreciate the efforts of those making a positive impact in the space.
GIRSAL is a non-banking financial institution established to de-risk agricultural financing and stimulate increased lending to the agricultural sector with the support of financial institutions in Ghana. It provides credit guarantees and technical support to financial institutions and agribusinesses, through well-structured transactions, to increase agriculture lending.