Low knowledge on agriculture credit facilities affecting commercial farming

Friday September 14 2018

A farmer weeds her garden. Smallholder farmers

A farmer weeds her garden. Smallholder farmers can be involved in agricultural investments as partners in large scale commercial agriculture. FILE Photo 



Farmers have failed to commercialise agriculture due to lack of knowledge on how to access credit facilities, according to Mr Stephen Mukitale, Buliisa County MP.
Speaking at a farmers’ workshop in Kampala, Mr Mukitale said commercial agriculture continues to be a dream for many Ugandans because they lack knowledge on how to access agricultural funding sources such as the Agricultural Credit Facility, under Bank of Uganda.
The Agricultural Credit Facility was created about nine years ago to help farmers transit from substance to commercial agriculture.
“Those supposed to educate farmers are not doing it,” Mr Mukitale said in reference to the lack of knowledge about the Agricultural Credit Facility among farmers.
In 2009, government established the Facility to help both medium and long-term projects.
However, according to Mr Mukitale, the facility has largely remained inaccessible, reaching less than 10 per cent of the farmers across the country in the period.
Recently, government committed about Shs565b to farmers in 40 districts with the aim of assisting them to transition into commercial farming.
Mr Evans Nakhokho, the head of agri-business, Centenary Bank, one of the banks through which the money is channeled, said they have loaned out Shs5b out of the available Shs300b.