Palladium is making strategic financing work for agriculture in Ghana
On May 4th 2017, the USAID-Financing Ghanaian Agriculture project (FinGAP) hosted its 4th annual Ghana Agribusiness Investment Summit in Accra.
The theme of the 4th annual Ghana Agribusiness Investment Summit in Accra was ‘Making Strategic Financing Work for Agriculture’. 350 members of the country’s agribusiness, transaction advisory, financial institution and investment community were in attendance, along with representatives of the US and Ghanaian governments, donor community, and international investors.
Aligning agricultural growth with social impact
FinGAP’s goal is to reduce poverty – and ensure that Ghana can be more food secure – by channelling large scale finance and investment to small, medium and large enterprises in northern Ghana’s maize, rice and soy sectors. FinGAP is managed by Palladium, and financed by the US government through USAID, Feed the Future and the US-Ghana Partnership for Growth Initiatives.
The project is a great example of Positive Impact in action. USAID’s donor resources are being leveraged to mobilise private capital investment in agriculture – specifically targeting underserved markets, firms and smallholder farmers. The project is bringing together public and private sector expertise to create both economic and social value.
In less than three years FinGAP has helped its partner enterprises double revenue and profits. Additional financing has also led to a doubling of full-time employment in the maize and rice sectors. In aggregate terms, FinGAP has put 175,000 more people to work to assist in planting and harvesting new crops, on an additional 150,000 acres of land. It has assisted more than 1,700 Ghanaian agribusiness firms (approximately 40% of which are run by women) to access more than US $117 million in private capital from more than three dozen Ghana-based financial institutions, and impact and equity investors.
FinGAP is one of the US government’s most successful agriculture projects focusing on investment and finance. Quite simply it demonstrates that aid money can be smart money; and in fact that aid money can be incredibly commercial in its application.
A platform to profile investment opportunities
Each year FinGAP’s agribusiness investment summit presents a set of illustrative agribusiness deals available for investment in Ghana. This year there were 33 small, medium and large enterprises seeking investment valued at anywhere from $200,000 - $10M in debt and equity. These deals complement the hundreds of deals that FinGAP’s financial services and business advisory partners identify and seek finance for each year. The summit facilitates networking and meetings between businesses and interested investors. This year, one machinery firm attending the summit (Sunita Impex) made 78 new connections and landed more than $3M in sales deals. The not summit not only promotes the work of the project, it actively drives business.
Hon. George Odoru, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Melinda Tabler-Stone, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy Accra, presided over the opening of the summit. The Deputy Minster commended USAID and Palladium for its success in extending finance to its farmers at a scale never achieved before in Ghana:
“The Impact that FinGAP has had on businesses is there for everyone to see…we have seen how the lives of the farmers involved in this project have changed tremendously. I commend USAID for this tremendous support, which should continue…please extend this program!”
Palladium also showcased a number of strategic partnerships it has facilitated with businesses to improve agricultural yields and sales. One such partnership is between mechanisation giant John Deere and Sinapi Aba Trust. Together, they have been able to help more than 8,000 farmers access mechanised farming for the first time, while also increasing the sales of John Deere products in Ghana by 20%.
The summit has become an annual fixture for Ghana’s agribusiness community and financial institutions. This year’s summit sponsor, USAID, was joined by co-sponsors Barclays Bank, Ecobank, First Allied Savings and Loans, the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool, John Deere and UT bank.