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26.03.2007 Business & Finance

ADB Extends More Support To Agric Sector

Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has channelled a total of ¢626 billion into a number of agricultural and allied activities to help boost agriculture production in the country.

The amount went to areas such as procurement of production inputs, farm machinery, processing food crops, industrial crops and crops for export.

Other areas of agricultural financing were fishing, aquaculture, poultry and livestock, agro-marketing, 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.

The bank also invested $2.0 million 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 for fishermen.

These details were contained in the Year 2006 financial statements of the bank released to the media.

On the financial and operational performance of the bank in 2006, the net profit increased by over 44.0 per cent to reach ¢107.65 billion.

In addition, it improved its strength with a 19.71 per cent growth in total assets to over ¢4,103.0 billion, while its total deposits grew by 29.19 per cent to reach ¢2,344.14 billion. The shareholders funds now stand at over ¢695.0 billion.

In view of this, the bank is to pay a total dividend of ¢32.30 billion into the national coffers out of its operational profits for the year 2006.

This represents an increase of more than 116 per cent over the previous year's dividend payment.

In addition, the bank contributed nearly ¢8.73 billion as National Reconstruction Levy and ¢7.683 billion as donations to charitable causes out of its income during the year under review.

The bank also significantly improved on its ability to create loans for the development of the national economy, achieving a total loan portfolio of ¢1,860.0 billion.

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.

One of the objectives of the bank's lending programme for the year was to strengthen its operations in other sectors of the economy in order to enhance linkages with mainstream agriculture.

As a socially responsible bank, it donated nearly ¢8.0 billion towards various social activities in the country out of which ¢2.0 billion went to the organisation of Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebration, a contribution of $400,000 as a founding partner of the CAN 2008 Ghana Business Club, and sponsorship of the first prize of a three-bedroom house for the National Best Farmer.