OWC officials want Post Bank turned into an agriculture bank

Post Bank, which is 100 percent owned by government, has transitioning into a commercial bank enhanced operations,  human resources and strengthened its risk framework. Photo | courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • Farmers have also welcomed the idea, saying commercial banks have been asking for collateral security which they do not have.

A section of officials from Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) want the government to turn Post Bank into an agriculture bank to give farmers low interest loans.

According to a letter addressed to the OWC Chief Coordinator, Gen Salem Saleh, agriculture is the backbone of Uganda employing close to 68 percent of the population.

The letter Monitor has seen, written by the OWC Procurement and Seeds Monitoring Officer, Rtd Lt Moses Mugisha Mugufuri, stresses that instead of government scattering funds in uncoordinated projects, all these funds should be put in one pool for easy accessibility.

Lt Mugufuri, who also doubles as the national chief coordinator for transformation cadre association, said the government should pool funds from Naads, emyooga, micro-finance, youth livelihood fund, among others, to the farmers’ bank.

He asked Gen Saleh to fast-track the formation of agriculture and cooperative banks in the country.
“I have observed that there is a missing link that affects people engaged in agriculture due to the absence of robust agriculture financing,” the letter reads in parts.

It adds: “Since 1990, the government has instituted a number of reforms meant to enhance production, competitiveness and household income as advised by World Bank and IMF and these were seen to bring Uganda into a middle income [status] by 2020.We have not gotten there yet.” 

Lt Magufuri said the agriculture bank would also lead to the successful implementation of the Parish Development Model.

Some sources within OWC are said to have supported the idea and are awaiting communication from Gen Saleh.

In an interview with Monitor yesterday, Brig Gen Joram Kagyezi, the coordinator of OWC in Bunyoro Sub-region, said all the money should be put in one pool for proper use.

We could not get a comment from Gen Saleh who did not answer our calls by press time. The letter was, however, received on September 7 according to the stamp.

His principal senior advisor, Mr Philip Idro, did not also answer our repeated calls. 
Last month in an interview, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, said: “The government can get one of the commercial banks which has many branches across the country and say ‘we want you to establish a special line for agriculture and give farmers loans at favourable rates’.” 

Farmers have also welcomed the idea, saying commercial banks have been asking for collateral security which they do not have.


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