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OPIC Board Approves $119.5 Million in Insurance to Improve Efficiency in Ghana's Agricultural Sector



Friday, September 14, 2012

(OPIC)  New equipment, facilities and monitoring will enhance food security, support Ghana’s effort to become regional breadbasket

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, approved $119.5 million in political risk insurance to help modernize Ghana’s agricultural sector, bringing much-needed food security to the country and supporting its effort to become a regional food exporter.

The project involves the installation of modern silos, grain mills, cold storage and livestock breeding facilities, and computers and other technical equipment to assist in statistical research and agricultural monitoring throughout Ghana. The OPIC insurance will cover loan financing for the project being raised in the U.S. bond markets by U.S.-owned company Belstar Capital Ltd.

The agricultural sector is essential to Ghana’s development, accounting for over 25 percent of GDP in 2011 and 56 percent of its labor force. But despite recent economic growth, nearly two million people in Ghana struggle to maintain consistent access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, and the country imports large quantities of food annually.

The project will reduce post-harvest losses and increase agricultural productivity, leading to greater food surpluses for local populations and reducing reliance on imported products. It will also strengthen Ghana’s market infrastructure and agricultural production standards, both of which are necessary for Ghana to increase agricultural exports.

“OPIC is proud to be able to support Ghana’s ambitious agricultural modernization program,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “Improving agricultural infrastructure is a critical goal in Africa, and Ghana has the potential to be a leading agricultural produce for both domestic markets and for the region.”

Arthur Polk, CEO of Belstar Capital Limited, said, “The Government of Ghana is worthy of commendation for taking full advantage of this opportunity to improve food security and nutrition for its constituents. We applaud OPIC for its pioneering approach in solving the problem of sourcing capital in difficult and complicated financial markets.”