Farmers get boost from NATSAVE asset initiative

NATIONAL Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) has disbursed K6 million to over 100 farmers under the Bunjimi Asset Plus programme aimed at boosting productivity through provision of farming equipment.
The Bunjimi Asset Plus programme that was launched last year is an empowerment initiative which helps farmers to acquire tractors, planters, rippers and ploughs among other farm equipment.
NATSAVE bank managing director Cephas Chabu said the initiative that is partnership with Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU), has attracted farmers from various provinces and the bank projects to disburse K8 million by December 31.
“A lot of farmers are applying for the loans with the majority being from Mkushi in Central and Northern Province,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
Mr Chabu said the bank which has this year set aside K10 million for farmers under the initiative, is expected to treble the allocation next year in view of the increased demand for the facility by the farmers.
He commended farmers for repaying their loans on time, saying this will help in disbursement to more farmers in the country.
“Repayment has been very good because ZNFU screens the farmers before they access the loans from the bank,” he said.
On the bank expansion drive, Mr Chabu said NATSAVE bank is expected to open 10 branches next year as part of its commitment to enhance financial inclusion.
He said five branches, namely Kazungula, Mpika, Chinsali, Mwense and Choma will be opened in the first half of 2015 and will gobble about K17.5 million.
The last five branches will be opened in the last half of next year.
He also said the capital injection of K110 million by Government this year will strengthen the bank’s capacity to expand its footprint and provide finance to the public.

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