Centenary Bank has earmarked shs150b in a bid to boost the agriculture sector through value chain financing.
Under this arrangement, Centenary Bank will finance production of major crops and working capital for their purchase fromfarmers at harvest time. With this, the farmers will be assured of good pre-determined prices and timely payments for their produce. The Bank will be financing crops that include coffee, sunflower, cotton, maize,barley, shear beans, candle nuts used for bio-diesel production, rice as well as dairy products.
According to the Bank’s Chief Manager Agricultural Credit, Evans Nakhokho, the initiative will begin with financing of sunflower production in Northern Uganda in partnership with A.K Oils and Fats Limited, a subsidiary of Mukwano Group of Companies.
“We have signed the first tripartite arrangement for sunflower financing and have earmarked about five billion shillings for this process,targeting over 60,000 farmers in Lira, Apac, Alebtong, Kole, Pader, Amolatar, Agago, Dokolo, Kaberamaido and Otuke districts.”
The value chain financing approach will help empower farmers to access funds for production, he added.
Speaking at the signing of the partnership, the General Manager of A.K Oils and Fats, Robert Adwek,said that the partnership will help ensure consistency and quality in production.“This partnership will definitely enable us balance demand and supply of sunflower as our raw material.”
Centenary Bank has in the past partnered with Balton Uganda in an irrigation credit scheme to provide affordable irrigation equipment to small scale farmers,and with Agribusiness Initiative (ABI) Trust in an initiative that includes a risk sharing scheme, capacity building of the Bank’s credit staff and financial literacy for farmers.
In addition to this, the Bank has furtherrefined their credit products to include produce loans, post- harvest/ marketingand equipment credit facilities.
This is part of the Bank’s commitment to Uganda’s economic development by promoting agriculture, as the number one lender to the sector.Centenary Bank is cognizant of the fact that agribusiness is the leading source of wealth creation in Uganda andis therefore committing 20% of its loan portfolio to the sector this year.