AFD and ADB signed a financial agreement for the Rubber Outgrower Plantation Project
On 09 December 2015, in the presence of HE François Pujolas, Ambassador of France to Ghana, Agricultural Development Bank Limited and Agence Française de Développement celebrated the signing of the Financial Agreement for the implementation of Phase V of the Rubber Outgrower Plantation Project through which Agence Française de Développement granted a 17.7 million Euros concessional loan to Agricultural Development Bank Limited.
This phase of the project will see the cultivation of 8,000 hectares of rubber by around 2,600 outgrower farmers in over 400 communities in 33 districts across three regions in Ghana. Thirty Percent (30%) of the targeted beneficiaries will be women. Beyond the actual rubber plantations, 2,600 beneficiaries will also cultivate around a thousand hectares of food crops to contribute to food security. At peak, the beneficiaries are expected to produce on average 19,000 tons of dry rubber annually. It will significantly contribute to poverty alleviation through increased incomes for the beneficiary farmers. It will also contribute to the improvement of the environment through carbon sequestration.
Back in 1995, the Government of Ghana obtained a credit facility from Agence Française de Développement and the World Bank for the financing of tree crops like rubber and oil palm under the “Programme for the Promotion of Perennial Crops in Ghana”. Since then, five different phases of rubber and two different phases of oil palm cultivation by outgrowers were implemented. The rubber component of the programme has been implemented under the Rubber Outgrower Plantations Project with Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ADB) as the Financial Operator, Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) as the Technical Operator and Rubber Outgrower and Agents Association (ROAA) representing the outgrower farmers.
Phase I of the Rubber Outgrower Plantations Project (ROPP I) saw the development of 1,200 ha of rubber plantations by 400 outgrower farmers within the Western Region. Phase II of the project (ROPP II) involved 500 new outgrowers cultivating 2,855 ha of rubber and was co-financed by the Government of Ghana and Agence Française de Développement from year 2000 to 2003. Phase III was implemented by Government of Ghana with another local bank as financial operator. It is interesting to note that Phase IV of the project (2010-2012) involved a direct (Non-Sovereign) financing from Agence Française de Développement to Agricultural Development Bank Limited without government involvement and resulted in the cultivation of 10,700 hectares of rubber by 2,800 outgrower farmers.
The five different phases of the ROPP have contributed about 30,000 hectares of rubber by 8,500 farmers since their implementation.