What you need to know:
- Apuuli said, to-date the bank through its Fort-Portal branch is supporting 48 SACCOs/village savings groups, and is targeting to reach a total of 200 in the next one year.
Stanbic Bank has promised to support the agriculture sector through SACCOs and bancassurance in an effort to create jobs and other opportunities.
Speaking at the 24th Seeds of Gold farm clinic held in Fort-Portal City, a Nation Media Group initiative, in which Stanbic Bank is a sponsor, Dennis Apuuli, the area Stanbic Bank Branch Manager said: “Here in Fort-Portal, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had positioned ourselves as the go to bank for farmers.”
Apuuli said, to-date the bank through its Fort-Portal branch is supporting 48 SACCOs/village savings groups, and is targeting to reach a total of 200 in the next one year.
He said, under the bank’s SACCO proposition, participating groups are first required to open a Stanbic Bank account to access support from the branch. He explained that the account features free cash and cheque deposits, free transfers into the account from members, free cash withdrawals, free online banking and has no monthly management fees.
The bank also offers tiered interest paid on balances above Shs10m. In addition, it offers loans at 10 percent interest rate to agric-based SACCOs, unsecured term loans of up to Shs200m with tenor of not more than 12 months.
Apuuli also said, the bank offers a secured term loan of up to Shs1.5b with tenor of between 12 and 36 months maximum.
“We have been instrumental in providing affordable loans and credit facilities to individual farmers, large-scale plantation owners, agro-processors, farm suppliers, and other stakeholders and we pledge to continue even after Covid-19 pandemic,” Apuuli says.
Apart from access to finance, Apuuli said, the bank has identified risks embedded with the agriculture sector such us low production resulting from climatic changes, pests and diseases, breakdown of machinery as the other challenge the farmers are facing.
However, he said, through the bank’s bancassurance service team, they are able to provide agricultural insurance (animal and crop) and offer insurance for physical assets such as agricultural machinery, warehouses and storage facilities. Beyond Fort-Portal, Stanbic Bank Uganda currently has in excess of 100,000 clients who have taken up insurance products through bancassurance. Dogo Singh Sherman, the head of bancassurance at Stanbic Bank says, the bank together with its partners are building public trust founded on transparent and fast claims processing.
As a bank, Singh says, they have invested heavily in a claims management and administration system, paying Shs3.4b worth of claims annually.
He says, the bank will continue to innovate and add more value into the entrenched insurance products in agriculture (One Farm solution) and the new SACCO insurance proposition which covers both funeral expenses and personal accidents.
The Fort-Portal clinic focused on aquaculture, apiculture, tea, Irish, potatoes and beans as farming activities. Stanbic Bank joined the farm clinic initiative to further support agriculture, the backbone of Uganda’s economy, which employs some 65 percent of the population and earns the country just over $1b annually from exports of various products.
For the past three years, the bank has been an active participant showcasing the financial and non-financial support in the sector, according to Melisa Nyakwera, the Head of Agribusiness at Stanbic Bank Uganda.
She says the bank is supporting thousands of farmers throughout the country through affordable financing and training using the Stanbic Incubator Programme. Nyakwera says up to Shs450b of the bank’s total loan book has been directed to formal agriculture financing across the value-chain.
She says, their trade finance solution includes several attractive features. “We offer contract, commodity financing and invoice discounting especially to those who are involved in grains processing and exporting.”
The Fort-portal clinic focused on aquaculture, apiculture, tea, Irish, potatoes and beans as farming activities. Stanbic Bank joined the farm clinic initiative to further support agriculture, the backbone of Uganda’s economy, which employs some 65 percent of the population.