Agri-business Business

Stanbic in $80m agric plan

Pledges support to agricultural value chain
ESTHER MSETEKA,Lusaka
STANBIC Bank Zambia has disbursed about US$40 million to commercial farmers out of the US$80million budget set aside for this year.
Bank head of agricultural banking Mwamba Musambo said in an interview in Lusaka on Friday that the bank has not put a cap to the US$80million, as any investment demand in agriculture is welcome.
In the last five years, the bank has established an agriculture department with specialised managers to help boost the commercial and corporate farmers’ crop yield. Ms Musambo said this is due to the value the sector has on the economy.
“We have given facilities to the tune of over US$120 million [in the past five years]… and these range from buying farms, building dams and equipment. We have provided different kinds of facilities to support the farmers through the different things that we have been doing.
“At the moment, we are currently one of largest agriculture books in Zambia with over K1.1 billion in assets which is flipped between commercial, primary and also our corporate agriculture and the largest at the moment,” she said.
Ms Musambo pledged continued support to the whole agricultural value chain through the provision of finance to various segments, as part of its commitment to the growth of the sector.
The bank intends to partner with other organisations to support small-scale farmers in acquiring agricultural equipment.
“This year, we have decided to get to smallscale farmers, so we are partnering with different businesses that have been in the agriculture sector for a while [and] different people that have approached us.
These are seed, fertiliser and commodity companies,” she said.

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