Rural Banks urged to finance agriculture in rural areas

The former Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Emmanuel Kwapong, has called on Rural and Community Banks (RCBS) to finance agriculture in the rural areas to serve the rural financial market.

He urged RCBS, whose main economic activities are located in the rural areas, to structure their business models to enhance agriculture for the rural people who formed a greater percentage of the country’s population.

Mr Kwapong made the call at the 17th Annual General Meeting of Dumpong Rural Bank at Asakraka in the Kwahu South District at the weekend.

He said financing agriculture could be profitable and sustainable if investment was in capacity building, training of staff and developing appropriate products to serve the agriculture value chain at all levels.

Mr Kwapong commended the board and management of the bank for their performance, which saved the bank from being liquidated in 2004 and urged them to initiate pragmatic action and programmes to make its existence meaningful and relevant in the area.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, Mr Emmanuel Bonna, said the bank recorded a net profit before tax of GH¢ 91,645 last year as against GH¢ 24,607 two years ago, representing 272.43 percent.

He said during the year under review, the bank’s total deposit went up from GH¢ 2,835,967 in 2010 to GH¢ 3,956,961 last year, an increase of 39.53%.

The bank granted advances, loans and over draft totaling GH¢ 2,085,265 to customers in the transport, cottage industry, construction, agriculture, commerce and salary workers last year as against GH¢1,012,401 in the year under review, an increase of 105.95%.

Total assets of the bank also increased from GH¢3,173,753 two years ago to GH¢4,356,078 last year, an increase of 37.25% while its short term investment portfolio stood at GH¢800,000 at the close of the financial year with a share capital of GH¢153,518.

The General Manager of the bank, Mr Jasper Ahadizi, urged the shareholders to purchase more shares as they envisaged that the capital requirement of rural banks might be reviewed upwards very soon.

He advised customers owing the bank to pay back for others to benefit.

In an address read on his behalf, the acting Managing Director ARB Apex Bank, Mr Duke Osam-Duodu, advised the bank to manage their advances well to avoid large amount of non- performing loans on their balance sheet.

He appealed to customers of the bank to honour their loan repayment obligations on time to enable others to enjoy the facility.

Mr Osam-Duodu advised RCBS to raise adequate capital to meet their maintenance cost of the ICT infrastructure in terms of software maintenance, repairs, depreciation, upgrade and replacement.

He appealed to RCB’s to consider cooperative mergers to mobilize adequate funds to provide financial services in a wider catchment area.

He said in light of the complex and rapidly changing environment, rural banks should be expected to enhance their operational efficiency and risk management to enable them to operate effectively in the dynamic banking industry.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.