NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
DEVELOPMENT Bank of Zambia (DBZ)will this year prioritise industrialisation and agro-processing through financial support to projects that add value to agricultural products.
DBZ managing director Jacob Lushinga says the bank will support governmentâ€™s agenda of revamping the economy through diversification and placing value on value addition to agricultural products.
DBZ has a projected loan portfolio of US$75 million targeted at various sectors with 20 percent directed towards agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
Speaking when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on economic affairs, energy and labour, Mr Lushinga explained that the bank has introduced multiple lending facilities available to local entrepreneurs and has set a the minimum loan amount at one million Kwacha.
He said the bank is also actively involved in supporting the private sector through the public private partnerships (PPP) in the country.
â€œWe are keen to support Governmentâ€™s agenda of developing agriculture due to its immense potential. I donâ€™t have actual figures but the bankâ€™s priority area of support this year is industrialisation and agro-processing where DBZ will be supporting projects that promote value addition to agricultural products,â€ Mr Lushinga said.
When queried by the committee, he narrated that the bank had in the past year supported various projects through direct loan financing but had also supported sourcing of additional funding to support the growth and sustainability of various business firms.
Mr Lushinga said the bank financed Yalelo fish farm in Siavonga with a debt of K12 million as well as equity and that currently, DBZ only has equity interest in the project which is now a PPP.
â€œThe interesting thing about such a project is that even if DBZ is not able to finance the entire amount, the bank will make an effort to arrange financing so that the project becomes successful,â€ he said.
He also submitted that DBZ provided US$5 million loan to Kapiri Glass Manufacturing Limited to enable the company start operations.
â€œWe also have a shareholding in Kabwe Industrial Fabrics, where we supported them with US$4 million as debt and equity. We also have a 25 percent shareholding in Kaleya small holdings which is a sugar plantation in Mazabuka,â€ he said.
He said DBZ is also having discussions with Asphalt Roads for US$35 million financial assistance, which the company intends to use for road construction works in Southern province.
NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka