Smallholder Farmers To Gain Unsecured Access To 460 Billion Shillings Agriculture Credit Facility

There have been widespread concerns over the limited access to the 460 billion shillings Agricultural Credit Facility Scheme administered by Bank of Uganda but delivered by commercial banks. “The objective was to commercialize and modernize, it anticipated that a certain farmer who has an infrastructure and is willing to take off in mechanization and so forth. But as we roll it out we want us to address even lower segments.” Said, David Kyalyango – Outgoing ED, Finance – Bank of Uganda.

Bank of Uganda now says there is a consensus among banks.Subject to the Ministry of Finance’s approval on unsecured lending to small-scale farmers up to 5 million shillings on this credit facility. “We got the views of commercial banks on the sign-off and right now we are waiting for the sign off of the Ministry of Finance. So it has taken a while but as soon as he signs even tomorrow; that will be implemented. So we are waiting and expecting him to reach anytime.” These developments come at a time when several farmer groupings and associations across the country have decried the dwindling access and indeed cost of credit. “The installments have to be the right one and the institutions I must still emphasize the Microfinance side and the development finance; the commercial banks and not inappropriate vehicle at the moment to financing agriculture.” Said, Edward Katende – CEO, Uganda Agribusiness Alliance.

Large partners such as the Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (AGRA) with Uganda as a recipient country also hold the view that structural aspects touching on the agricultural sector need to be tackled with speed. “Ensure that the sector is well coordinated so that the resources we have in the sector are all coming together in the right way. Ensure that you are driving the right policies because policies evolve very quickly and we have to be prepared to be in an environment where policies are changing quickly because demands differ. Then number three is really ensuring that what we are doing is translating into a better and stronger private sector investment because we have an appropriate regulatory environment that allows the private sector to grow.” Said, Dr. Agnes Kalibata – President, Alliance for Green Revolution.