The mango industry could be one of Ghana’s huge and reliable sources of foreign exchange earners if the sector is well-managed by stakeholders, Mr Alex Agyei Amponsah, a Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana has observed.
He stated that processing companies were adding value to the mango fruit, but required support to be able to increase their value addition for them to derive even more substantial benefits in the interest of the country
Mr Amponsah, who is the Commercial and Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Director of the bank, made the observation at the opening of a two-day mango value chain stakeholders’ training in Sunyani.
It aimed at the future of the mango industry and how economical and sustainable solutions could be derived to address the sector’s current challenges.
Organised by Fidelity Bank in partnership with the eco-business Fund, the event was attended by 70 participants that comprised farmers, processors, exporters, input dealers and some consultants in the industry drawn from across the country.
The eco-business Fund is an impact investment fund, which provides debt financing directly to eligible clients and via financial sector intermediaries.
Mr Amponsah said Fidelity Bank had taken a strategic decision to focus on supporting the agriculture and export sectors as key areas in addition to those in the food value chain.
He said since entering into an agreement with the eco-business Fund, an amount of US$15 million had been generated in funds to develop the agriculture sector of the country.
Mr Amponsah said the target was not aimed at only farmers but everyone in the value chain and therefore urged stakeholders to tap into that support because there was a lot of economic value that businesses could take advantage of.
Mr Caleb Tamfu, the Strategic Advisor to Finance in Motion, manager of eco-business Fund said the partnership with Fidelity Bank sought to support sustainable practices across various agricultural value chains in Ghana of which the mango industry was very key.
He, therefore, encouraged participants to know how key actors along the mango value chain could work together to make investment financially sustainable.
Mr Anthony Botchway, the CEO of Bomarts Company and Chairman of National Mango Association said Fidelity Bank and eco.business Fund had come at an opportune time when money was hard to come by in the mango value chain because of problems farmers have been facing over the years.
He explained the mango business was lucrative but required investment to be able to make the money, saying, “we believe Fidelity Bank and eco.business Fund will make the necessary financing available for us to be able to get the inputs and buy the resources to increase production,”
As part of the two-day training, participants were taken through, “Pest and Disease Management in the Mango Sector” and “Challenges and Best Practices in identifying challenges within the Mango Value Chain and Proposing Solutions.”
Other topics were: “Optimizing input sourcing and supply for Mango production with the focus on quality,” “Certification and Financing,” “Climate Changes and its Effect on Mango production” and “Enhancing access to Finance and presenting Financing opportunities for the Mango Sector.”