The Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, Sam Jonah, has lamented over what he describes as the Agricultural Development Bank(ADB’s) shift in focus in supporting Ghana’s agricultural sector.
The business mogul argued that the bank’s approach has partly accounted for the decline growth in the agric sector and its ability to employ more people.
Mr. Jonah is highly convinced that the sector which has the potential to create jobs has not been given the necessary attention.
He made the remarks when he took his turn at the opening ceremony of this year’s edition of the annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon.
“…The ADB Bank which was set up to assist and promote agriculture, lost its way as it lazily found it easier and convenient to move into government securities,” he stressed.
The NPP government is seeking to address the challenge of unemployment by supporting private sector growth.
In line with this, the government has embarked on a number of policy initiatives through easing the cost of doing business as well as boost the agricultural sector through its planting for food and jobs.
But Mr Jonah was of the view that the ADB Bank has a key role to play in the growth of the sector and hence tasked ADB Bank to resume its core mandate of supporting local farmers.
The former CEO of Anglogold Ashanti, also bemoaned the rural banks in the country, saying that they have equally fallen short on their part in boosting the agricultural sector.
“The rural bank idea has not lived up to its promises; these are all missed opportunities to promote agriculture and create decent jobs… agriculture still remains at the subsistence level while rural youth move in troops to the cities in search of employment”.
Meanwhile the agriculture sector in the year 2009 was the biggest contributor to the county’s GDP but it has however declined in the subsequent years.
In 2009, the sector’s contribution to GDP stood at 29.8% but the figure as at 2016, had dropped to 18.9%.