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Agribusiness Financial Services


The Agribusiness Financial Services Project is an initiative of ACDEP and funded by CORDAID. The main purpose of the project is to provide a model for facilitating and increasing the access to credit and other financial services from rural, community and commercial banks by rural smallholder farmers, processors and other rural entrepreneurs to propel the rural economy. ABFS’ main function is financial intermediation / facilitation service between banks and its target clients.

ABFS also aims at establishing itself as a self-sustaining and self-financing institution working with and for the rural enterprising poor or smallholder entrepreneurs. It is the outcome of many years of micro-finance support to rural communities by ACDEP and its member-NGOs and informed by a broad in-depth study of the financial services sector in northern Ghana and the constraints to access by rural smallholder entrepreneurs. Currently, ABFS operates within the agricultural value chain development activities of ACDEP and other government and non-governmental organizations. The pilot phase (Phase I) was started in 2008 to 2010.

  1. ABFS Phase I was able to link up 6,346 smallholder farmers (2,535 women and 3,811 men) with 6 rural banks. By 2010, the total loan portfolio disbursed as a result of ABFS’ credit facilitation increased from GH¢127,047 (47,840) in 2008 to over GH¢382,000 (around €143,842) in 2010. The farmers were engaged in the sorghum, soya and maize value chains of the ACDEP-ICCO-EU FAMAR Project.
  2. Capitalizing on and encouraged by the achievements of Phase I, ABFS embarked on the implementation of Phase II starting from June 2011, with the aim of building an independent and self-sustainable financial intermediation institution by the end of Phase II (ending 2014) following a clear business plan.
  3. As per the five-year business plan (from FY2011/12 to FY15/16), internally generated funds in ABFS Phase II are to grow by 25% each year, from 25% in Year 1 to 75% by the end of Year 3 (2014).

Programmes /Projects

  1. Agribusiness Financial Service I( formally AFS Phase I)
  2. ACDEP Financial Education (AFE)
  3. ABFS (Formally AFS Phases II).

Project purpose

The purpose ABFS is to provide financial intermediation services that will enhance the linkage between 12,000 male and female rural farmers/entrepreneurs and financial institutions and the specific objective is that at least 12,000 smallholders have access to credit through the development and expansion of ABFS as an intermediate financial services provider. 

project desired outcomes

  1. At least 12,000 male and female smallholder farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs have access to credit through ABFS linkage.
  2. At least 10 rural and commercial banks are involved in the linkage and the total portfolio of lending to smallholder male and female farmers has increased by 150%.
  3. ABFS achieves 75% of its operational costs by the year 2013.
  4. The human resource capacity of ABFS& ACDEP is enhanced and ensures sustainable and efficient implementation of ABFS.

project implementation strategy

ABFS will be implemented with a clear goal of linking small-scale farmers and rural entrepreneurs to the financial institutions that are active in Northern Ghana, and in the operating areas of ACDEP. It is meant to be an innovative comprehensive model supporting the development of value-chains.

ABFS is seen as a broker, offering services to two actors. On one side we have the banks that are looking for new opportunities and diversification, especially in the agricultural sphere. However they do not have the right tools, capacity and interest to approach the rural population. The high risks and high costs are seen as an insurmountable barrier. On the other side, we have the farmers and other small scale entrepreneurs, often not enough organized, and not presenting their best profile to the financial institutions. These farmers/entrepreneurs need to be trained, coached and win in confidence for accessing financial services.

ABFStherefore fills in the gap between both parties, by becoming a financial intermediary. The long-term objective of ABFS would be to become an independent service provider, providing financial intermediation.In 2011, ABFStransitioned from a project driven by ACDEP to an independent financial intermediation institution with its own management and staff as well as specific growth and performance targets. The ultimate goal was to build a well-structured limited liability company, with its own operating premises and a full-fledged legal identity. ABFS Phase II intends to gradually differentiate itself and function like a business-oriented and sustainable entity aiming at profitability within the first 3 years of operation.

key activities

  • ØNegations  with financial institutions  on loan terms and fee sharing
  • ØIdentification of clients, credit needs assessment, due diligence and collating credit request of bankable enterprises.
  • ØSubmission of loans to financial institutions, and follow ups for prompt approval.
  • ØApproval and signing of loan agreement for seed capital loans
  • ØMonitoring of field operations and produce mobilization
  • ØSupervise credit repayment and recovery.
  • ØNetwork with others stakeholders (Buyers, input dealers, financial institution, MoFA and other value chains programmes within the 3 northern regions.

project scope

  1. Geographic coverage: Regions, Districts and Communities

As of September 2012, ABFS covers the 3 northern regions of Ghana (Northern Region, Upper-East Region and Upper-West Region) and 13 districts (Tamale Metropolitan, Yendi, Chereponi, Saboba, Bolgatanga, Langbensi, Garu, Sandema, Funsi, Tumu, Lassia-Tuolu, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, and Nanumba South).

New Picture


ACDEP Secretariat


EPDRA Saboba


PAS Mile 7


FTC Bolga


Bonzali Rural Bank (Head Office + Yendi Branch)


PAS Sandema




Builsa Community Bank


West Mamprusi Community Bank




PAS Langbensi


Sissala Rural Bank


East Mamprusi Community Bank




PAS Garu


Lassia Tuolu


BESSFA Rural Bank




EPDRA Chereponi

Staff Strength on Programme

Five field officers and  one manager

Details of Contact Person (Programme Head)

Modesta Azumah Asooh

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone contact:0205332987/0246880565

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