The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has presented the cash prize of Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵480, 000.00) to Mr. James Obeng Boateng, the 2018 National Best Farmer at a ceremony in Accra.
Making the presentation the Managing Director of ADB, Dr. John Kofi Mensah said the Bank remained committed in ensuring that the agricultural sector remains a pivotal part of the Ghanaian economy.
“We remain committed in ensuring that agricultural sector remains a critical part of our economic growth, in ensuring this we have expanded our Agricultural Department into an Agricultural Business Division headed by a General Manager,” he said.
Dr. Mensah said that the Agribusiness Division has been departmentalized into an Agricultural Value Chain and Agricultural Services Department hence captures all the sectors in agriculture.
He indicated that the Agric Value Chain Department facilitates loans and advisory services to customers in the crops, livestock, poultry, marine, cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits and other export commodities sector. Whiles the Agricultural Services Department is available to also facilitate loans as well as offer advisory services for customers in agro-marketing (veterinary, agro input distribution, marketing and packaging), the Value Chain Infrastructure Unit deals with customers who are into haulage, warehousing, mechanization and other Agricultural Related Businesses.
Also he said the Bank has further decentralized the Division by setting up dedicated Agric Desk with well-trained Officers at selected Branches nationwide.
The Managing Director commended Mr. James Obeng Boateng for his elaborate business proposal which was targeted at expanding his farming business and creating more jobs.
Dr. Kofi Mensah revealed that Mr. Boateng in his proposal indicated that part of the money will be used to build a two bedroom farm house, buy a tractor, four polytanks and also construct four mechanized bore holes.
Others included the employment of thirty (30) more workers, purchasing of seeds, feeds, medications and also the buying of tricycles as well as the repair of access roads leading to his farm.
“These activities planned we believe are all targeted at creating more jobs and contributing towards Ghana becoming food sufficient,” he said.
Dr. Kofi Mensah further praised the Honorable Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and his team at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the success story of the novelty Planting For Food & Jobs initiative and also the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme which are all geared towards the “Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda” of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He pledged the commitment of the Bank towards ensuring the success of all key government agricultural initiatives aimed at ensuring Food sufficiency.
The Honorable Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto in his remarks commended ADB for the unflinching support towards the National Farmers Day celebration which has contributed in motivating the Ghanaian Farmer.
He also congratulated the 2018 National Best Farmer, Mr. James Obeng Boateng for his in-depth proposal and further said his proposal was a reflection of the decision of stakeholders to move away from presenting a house to the current decision of giving money to the farmer to expand his business and thus creating more jobs.
Mr. James Obeng Boateng , the 2018 National Best Farmer in his speech thanked the Board Management of ADB for the kind gesture and pledged his commitment to ensure that the funds are properly utilized for its purpose.
Present at the ceremony were officials from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture , Management of ADB including the Deputy Managing Director , Mr. Alhassan Yakubu-Tali and the 2009 National Best Farmer and President of the National Best Farmers Association, Mr. Davis Narh Karboe.