The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) is proposing to pay a total dividend of 32.3 billion cedis into the national coffers out of its operational profits for 2006.
This represents an increase of more than 116 per cent over the previous year's dividend payment, according to a statement from ADB released in Accra on Friday.
ADB said in addition, the bank contributed nearly 8.73 billion cedis as National Reconstruction Levy and 7.683 billion cedis as donations to charitable causes out of its income during the year under review.
Among the impressive financial and operational performance of the Bank in 2006, the net profit made on its operational activities increased by over 44.0 per cent to 107.65 billion.
The Bank also improved its strength with a 19.71 per cent growth in total assets to over 4,103.0 billion cedis, while its total deposits grew by 29.19 per cent to 2,344.14 billion cedis. The shareholders' funds now stand at over 695.0 billion cedis.
The statement said the Bank also significantly improved on its ability to create loans for the development of the economy, achieving a total loan portfolio of 1,860.0 billion cedis. This represented an increase of about 25 per cent from the previous year.
The loan portfolio covered such sectors as manufacturing and construction, transport and storage, and services, in addition to its core support to the agricultural sector.
The statement said one of the objectives of the Bank's lending programme for the year was to strengthen its operations in the economy in order to enhance linkages with the mainstream agriculture.
Specifically in terms of its support to the agricultural sector, it said the Bank channelled a total of 626.08 billion cedis into a number of agricultural and allied activities, including the procurement of production input, farm machinery and equipment, and the marketing, storage and processing of food crops, industrial crops and export crops.
Other areas of agricultural financing were fishing, aquaculture, poultry and livestock, agro-processing, and the implementation of such new agricultural production initiatives as the Young Farmers Programme, Smallholder Mango Project and the ADB Gold Drive for farmers.
It also invested US2.0 million dollars in the Activity Venture Capital Financing Company to provide top-up financing in support of viable projects and imported 1,756 outboard motors worth 40.7 billion cedis which were sold to fishermen during the year.
The statement said the almost 8.0 billion cedis donation which the Bank made during the year included 2.0 billion cedis towards the organization of the Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebrations, a contribution of US400,000 as a founding partner of the CAN 2008 Ghana Business Club and the sponsorship of the first prize of a three-bedroom house for the National Best Farmer.