Fidelity Bank announces Agric-Tech Competition to inspire innovation

Fidelity Bank Ghana, the largest privately-owned indigenous bank, has announced a dedicated space for Agric-Tech within the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund (FYEF) through an upcoming Agric-Tech competition.

This initiative aims to support the devel…


Fidelity Bank Ghana, the largest privately-owned indigenous bank, has announced a dedicated space for Agric-Tech within the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund (FYEF) through an upcoming Agric-Tech competition.

This initiative aims to support the development of groundbreaking solutions that address pressing challenges faced by players in the Ghanaian agriculture value chain.

Julian Opuni, Managing Director at Fidelity Bank, made this announcement during the Agriculture and Fintech Forum at the just ended 3i Africa Summit.

The forum, hosted by Fidelity Bank, brought together stakeholders to bridge the gap between agriculture and fintech and showcase how technology can overcome longstanding barriers in the agricultural value chain.

In his keynote address titled, ‘Seeding Innovation: The Convergence of Agriculture and FinTech in Africa’, Mr. Opuni emphasised the crucial role of the youth in driving technological adoption and innovation within the agricultural sector.

He highlighted the demographic advantage o
f Africa, where 60% of the population is under 25 years old, but noted the underutilisation of this potential due to the perception of agriculture as an unappealing profession for the young.

‘Africa’s youth, aged under 25, make up 60% of the population, with over 200 million young people residing on the continent,’ Mr. Opuni stated. ‘Despite this demographic advantage, the agriculture sector remains largely untapped by Africa’s youth, who often view farming as a profession for the elderly.’

Mr. Opuni the urged the changing of this perception and equipping young Ghanaians with the necessary support and resources to actively participate in the sector’s transformation.

‘This will not only address youth unemployment but also ensure the sustainability and growth of Africa’s agricultural sector,’ he declared.

Building upon the existing FYEF program, which provides financial and non-financial support to youth-led businesses, particularly, those in the agriculture sector, a dedicated space for Agric-Tech will be
carved out within the FYEF framework.

‘Access to opportunities that drive innovation is key to motivating youth involvement in Agric-Tech,’ Mr. Opuni explained. ‘This Agric-Tech competition aims to incentivise the development of innovative solutions that will address critical issues faced by Ghanaian agriculture, ultimately leading to a revolutionized sector.’

Mr. Opuni acknowledged the numerous challenges hindering Africa’s agricultural productivity, including limited investment, inadequate resources, and a lack of access to technology and funding.

He pointed out the risk aversion of financial institutions due to historically high non-performing loan rates in the agricultural sector. However, he called for open dialogue between banks, stakeholders, and policymakers.

‘This forum represents a critical step forward,’ Mr. Opuni declared. ‘By fostering collaboration, we can work towards building a data-driven ecosystem. This will allow banks to more accurately assess risk, design targeted financial products f
or farmers, and ultimately bridge the financing gap for agricultural businesses.’

The forum also showcased Fidelity Bank’s dedication to advancing agricultural development. Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, participated in a panel discussion focused on integrating technological and financial innovation to reduce risk within the African agricultural value chain.

Additionally, Head of Partnerships, Sustainability and CSR, Nana Yaa Afriyie Ofori-Koree at Fidelity Bank, joined another panel discussion exploring the potential of Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) technology in unlocking financial flows for sustainable agricultural production in Ghana.

‘Fidelity Bank’s leadership in the Agriculture and Fintech Forum at the 3i Africa Summit, coupled with the creation of a dedicated Agric-Tech space within the FYEF program, demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting young innovators and fostering a more vibrant and technologically advanced agricultural sector
in Ghana.’

The three-day summit opened on Monday, May 13.

It was targeted at players in the African digital economy to catalyse investments and foster economic growth across the continent.

More than 4,000 players participated in the Summit that also aimed to generate partnerships for sustainable development.

Source: Ghana News Agency