Business

‘Zanaco committed to small-scale farmers’

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
ZANACO Bank director for corporate banking Ignatius Mwanza says the bank is developing various financial products to support smallholder farmers who present an emerging market opportunity for both local and international investors.
Mr Mwanza said Zanaco is putting emphasis on the agriculture sector by supporting all segments of the farming community.
“We are dealing with everyone in the agriculture value chain from smallholder farmers to traders, agro-dealers, commercial farmers up to agro-processing industries,” Mr Mwanza said recently.
He disclosed that the Lima credit scheme which the bank started implementing with Zambia National Farmers’ Union in 2008, with about 600 smallholder farmers in two districts, has now expanded to several parts of the country, with over 20,000 small-scale producers accessing the facility, and are cultivating about 40,000 hectares.
Mr Mwanza said Zanaco is currently developing a number of financial products to support the agricultural industry especially small-scale farmers.
“In partnership with various institutions, we are offering the smallholder farmer mechanisation scheme aimed at supporting farmers’ access to financing the acquisition of different types of equipment such as tractors and implements such as boom sprayers, ploughs, planters and rippers,” he said.
He said Zanaco in partnership with the International Finance Corporation is also offering the emergent farmer credit facility aimed at assisting emerging farmers to improve their farm productivity, access to finance, and building a new class of farmers.
“The benefits with all these products are that farmers will receive free financial advice to enable them run the farming business more efficiently,” Mr Mwanza said.

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