Central bank reports increase in demand for agriculture loans 

The need to commercialise agriculture is pushing an increase in financing demands.  Photo / Edgar R Batte 

What you need to know:

  • Of the Shs694.9b, which was disbursed for the year ended June 30, central region received 49.7, which was the largest. Western received 23.2 percent, while eastern received 22.6 percent. Northern received the least amount representing 4.5 percent of the total loan disbursements.    

Bank of Uganda has reported an increase in demand for agriculture-related financing for the period ended June 30. 

The increase was recorded under the Agricultural Credit Facility administered by Bank of Uganda through partnerships with financial institutions known as participating financial institutions. 

As of June 30, Bank of Uganda indicated in its 2021/22 Annual Report that it had received 2,738 agriculture-related loan application worth Shs1.05 trillion. 

The value was higher than the Shs988b recorded in the same period in 2021. 

However, out of the Shs1.05 trillion worth of applications, only Shs694.9b was advanced to 2,328 eligible projects, which was higher than the Shs620b disbursed in the same period last year. 

The largest amount of loans, which was 49.7 percent, representing a value of Shs345.4b, went to projects in the central region, while 23.2 percent or Shs160.89b went to projects in western Uganda. 

Eastern region received 22.6 percent or Shs157.11b of total disbursements, while northern received the least amount of Shs31.47 or 4.5 percent.  

The Agricultural Credit Facility is administered through an arrangement between Bank of Uganda and financial institutions, in which the Central Bank provides 50 percent of the loan amount that is matched by the participating financial institution. 

During the period, according to Bank of Uganda, government’s contribution stood at Shs352b, which was slightly higher than the Shs342.46b that was contributed by participating financial institutions. 

The report also indicates that cumulative repayments from participating financial institutions as of June 30, amounted to Shs230.6b, representing a 65.44 percent recovery performance.  

However, at least Shs121.79b, which represents a percentage value of 34.56 percent, remains outstanding. 

The report also indicates that the most funded projects included on-farm activities such as the construction of farm structures like valley dams, fencing, fishponds, greenhouses and irrigation systems. 

Other funded projects included machinery and equipment such as hatcheries, millers, tractors that enhance farm production and working capital for grain trade, livestock and post-harvest management. 

Working capital for grain trade and on-farm activities received the largest share of loan disbursements with each taking a share of 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively. 

Grain trade involves financing to mop up excess grain in the market, while on-farm activities constitute the highest number of micro small and medium enterprises. 

The financing needs for micro small and medium enterprises included farm expansion and improvement, installation of valley dams and acquisition of irrigation equipment, land opening (green fields), inputs for primary production such as improved seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides, farm restocking with improved breeds of goats, pigs and cattle for both dairy and beef production. 

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