Stanbic to enhance Farm Clinics

Saturday November 9 2019

Stanbic Bank’s Richard Wangwe (right) in a

Stanbic Bank’s Richard Wangwe (right) in a field tour at Ruekere Growers Tea Factory. The bank extends financial services to both small and large scale farmers. Today a team of experts from Stanbic will camp at the Seeds of Gold Farm Clinic to explain how farmers can access their loans. PHOTO by Shabibah Nakirigya 

By Shabibah Nakirigya

Why did Stanbic Bank choose to partner in the Seeds of Gold Farm Clinics?
More than 70 per cent of Uganda’s population is employed in agriculture which contributes 25 per cent to our GDP. As such, supporting business development in Uganda is not complete until you support agro-business.
Stanbic Bank has a wide branch network across the country with more than 63 branches and more than 1000 agents spread across the country.
This makes it easy for us to tap in to the agricultural economy which is common upcountry using a separate unit to handle agribusiness.

What do you hope to achieve through this partnership with Nation Media Group?
We would like to create awareness to the public and customers about the various agriculture products and services that Stanbic Bank offers.
The bank has a wide range of excellent products that can benefit farmers. These include:
• Individual farmers that need financing
• Cooperatives
• Large scale plantations owners
• Farm suppliers
• Stakeholders involved in the agriculture value chain
Therefore, through our partnership with the NMG, we are keen to support the growth of players in the agricultural sector and support the success of agriculture in Uganda.

How has Stanbic Bank been involved in supporting the growth of the agriculture sector?
Stanbic Bank provides financing to agricultural sector in a big way. Stanbic Bank has been instrumental in providing affordable loans and credit facilities to individual farmers, cooperatives, large scale plantation owners, farm suppliers and other stakeholders. These facilities worth Shs360b in 2018 have helped create a local market for farm produce, generate jobs and add value in form of finished products.
We have the biggest agricultural loan book in the industry and our support has previously been towards post-harvest support that has been going towards export.
However, we have realised that with time and the support that we have given to post-harvest storage, value addition, processing trade and export has created a demand that drives production. We are now going into support of farmers at grass root levels to support them to produce sufficient raw material for the industries through off taker partnerships.

Which specific areas within agricultural sector does the bank support?
As one of the major players in the agricultural sector, Stanbic’s support towards agriculture has been mainly through providing financial support in form of loans, credit facilities and overdrafts to farmers, agro-processors and aggregators, agriculture related industries, cooperatives and key players in agricultural value chains across the country.

What types of financing facilities does the bank provide and what are they mainly used for?
The bank provides long and short term facilities which are used for a variety of purposes including; the purchase of farm inputs, construction of processing facilities, purchase of machinery and importantly working capital during harvest and trade periods.
Just to give you an example during the peak trading periods in the northern sub region we provide aggregators with revolving credit equivalent to about Shs20b per month.
We have a tripartite relationship among the off taker, the farmer and the bank which ensures financing for the farmer and ready market for their produce. One such arrangement is with Nile Breweries Limited (NBL).

Beyond financing, what else does Stanbic do for farmers and players in the agriculture sector?
We have a partnership with Bank of Uganda where we disburse loans through the Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF), which is not only a means of financing but provides risk sharing in case of crop failure.
We have also partnered with institutions such as aBi to provide financing solutions to farmers.

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Mechanisation is an indispensable ingredient towards scaling up agriculture. Has Stanbic been involved in financing of machinery?
Yes we have, through partnerships with importers of agriculture farm equipment.
Through our vehicle and assets purchase scheme, farmers have been able to access loans and hire purchase products using them to buy/lease tractors, mechanised ploughs, trucks and delivery vehicles.
This has helped improve productivity and scale up many agricultural-based operations.

Processing of agricultural products into finished goods is key to the development of the economy, has the Bank been involved in making this possible?
Over the past 20 years Stanbic has provided financing that has been used to construct and upgrade numerous factories and Agro-processing plants across the country.
Two examples are Kakira Sugar Works Ltd and Rusekere Growers Tea Factory.
The Rusekere plant is impressive because by using a series of mid-sized loans the owner has managed to scale up his operations and now produces 3.5 million tonnes of tea for export.
Rusekere employs more than 250 workers directly and 1,200 indirectly through out-growers and other service providers in the process supporting an ecosystem of about 7,000 Ugandans.

Products
Stanbic bank has a wide range of excellent products that can benefit.
These include:
• Individual farmers that need
financing
• Cooperatives
• Large scale plantations owners
• Farm suppliers
• Plus stakeholders involved in the agriculture value chain

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