Stanbic pumps K500m in agro sector

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Representatives from South West Ag Partners were in Zambia in January to evaluate a corn crop planted with the assistance of the Chatham-based company and with the One Seed project organized by Enactus, a students' organization from Lambton College. The project has allowed farmers in Zambia to grow crops with yield potential many times what they're used to.
Farming

By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA-
STANBIC Bank Zambia has so far disbursed more than K500 million to the country’s agricultural sector, becoming one of the leading financial institutions in market share and size of the lending portfolio.
The bank’s chief executive officer Charles Mudiwa said the bank had provided more than K500 million to the agricultural sector in Zambia, thereby growing its agricultural portfolio both in market share and loan book.
“Our commercial agricultural portfolio has grown into one of the leading in Zambia, both in market share and size of the lending book which directly supports Government’s focus on agriculture,” Mr Mudiwa explained.
He said in Lusaka yesterday that the agricultural sector was one of the bank’s key focus and its business model had been structured to support the full agricultural value chain ranging from input suppliers, farmers and out-growers.
Mr Mudiwa said the value chain also involves the off-takers, processing and production units, distributors, wholesalers and retailers.
“What excites us about this product is the fact that some of our agricultural specialists were once farmers and thus have real-life insights into the agricultural industry.
“They fully understand the end-to-end experiences faced by farmers and are able to add value over and above ordinary banking solutions,” he said.
Mr Mudiwa said the bank was proud to be the platinum sponsor of the upcoming Agritech Expo at GART in Chisamba where some 8,000 visitors and delegates are expected to attend on April 4-5, 2014.
This is the country’s first full-scale, live agricultural event, offering everything from a conference, technical workshops, live crop trials to first-hand demonstrations of the latest in large-scale agricultural machinery.
More than 60 exhibitors will display the latest technology in farming and post-harvest equipment as well as products and services ranging from seeds, through fertilisers, crop protection products and irrigation.
Vice-President Guy Scott and Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wylbur Simuusa will attend the Agritech Expo.

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