Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited is committed to continuing to support farmers with financial and non-financial solutions to be able to yield tangible results from their farming activities.
Twinamatsiko was speaking at the inaugural Seeds of Gold/Farm Clinic event held at NARO’s Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute on May 27.
The annual event also brings together companies in the agriculture value chain to showcase their products before farmers.
“Remember, this revelation was made by Patrick Twinamatsiko, the Manager in charge of the bank’s Sacco financing.”.
The initiative is implemented alongside many partners, including Stanbic Bank, an anchor subsidiary of Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited (SUHL).
This is the second farm clinic happening at this research facility since Nation Media Group (NMG) and partners started implementing the initiative. The Seeds of Gold event aims to train farmers in the best farming practices.
Additionally, this year’s event in Western Uganda targeted farming groups and individuals engaged in coffee, dairy, apiary, goats, passion fruits, bananas, and more.
Agricultural experts from NARO and other entities facilitated classes on the different crops and farming activities in a bid to improve farmers’ knowledge and skills, with the ultimate goal of increasing production and productivity.
Twinamatsiko said that once farmers are empowered with farming knowledge, Stanbic comes in to offer financial solutions, including SACCO loans, vehicle and asset financing, and related facilities. The Bank has also partnered with other entities like aBi Trust to power SACCOs with solar systems and digital devices to improve their operational efficiency in Western Uganda and beyond.
Further more, Stanbic Bank’s sister company, Stanbic Business Incubator (SBIL), engages farmers in sessions aimed at helping them improve their business management skills.
Twinamatsiko said there are a total of 1924 groupings (SACCOs, Village Savings Loans Associations) in Uganda, out of which 283 are cooperatives.
“It is easier for us to support SACCOs with unsecured loan facilities because they are accountable to themselves rather than dealing with individual members,” Twinamatsiko said. He added that the loan repayment rate for the SACCOs they deal with is very good at 97%, which is good for us who are following our money.
He also said the Seeds of Gold partnership has provided an opportunity for Stanbic to understand farming dynamics and get feedback from farmers about Stanbic’s products.
“We have understood over time that the farmer wants credit at a lower interest rate, which is why we are giving facilities at 10%, the lowest in the market,” he said.
Benson Turamye, a farmer, said his visit to the Stanbic booth to make inquiries about the financial facilities offered would inform his investment decisions.
“I want to get a loan for my farm equipment.” I am here to ask these people at Stanbic whether they can help me,” he said in an interview. “It is a good chance for me to interact with the bank but to also learn new farming practices during this event,” Turamye added.
Gilbert Alinda, a Business Banker at Stanbic Bank in charge of branches in Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabaale, and Kisoro, said agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, which is why it is important for Stanbic to join hands with NMG to promote Seeds of Gold’s annual activity.
Alinda told our news reporters that “We are here to lend a hand in the economic growth of the country. Stanbic comes in to finance through the Bank of Uganda’s Agriculture Credit Facility and other solutions.
He said that Stanbic believes that by lending to farmers’ groups at an affordable interest rate, they are empowering them to invest and make a profit, which in the end contributes to social-economic transformation.
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