Listed NBS Bank has partnered with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), commissioned by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the promotion of Agricultural Finance (AgriFin) project focusing on engaging both the supply and demand sides to small-scale farmers, farmer organizations and agri-based entrepreneurs.
On the supply side, GIZ, through the AgFin Project, has partnered with NBS Bank in the development of financial services adapted to the target groups’ needs and provide capacity building for the management and staff on the specifics of the agricultural sector.
On the demand side, farmers and agri-based entrepreneurs will be trained to economically analyze their business and evaluate their financing options.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the partnership in Blantyre, AgFin Team Leader, Harald Neimeier said by engaging the two key players in the agricultural financing channel, the project expects to have increased access to formal banking services by the rural population of which the majority are farmers.
“With increased access to banking services, the farmers and agri-based entrepreneurs will in turn invest more in agricultural production, processing and marketing to further develop their businesses,” said Neimeier.
He said the project will work in three fields of action namely product knowledge and development, support of farmers and agri-based rural enterprises and support of financial institutions.
“The project adapts existing and develops new analysis tools and training materials to enhance the economic and financial expertise of farms and agri-based enterprises and the agricultural know-how of partner financial institutions. With tailor-made training and advice, the project increases the competences of small-scale farmers, farmer organizations and agri-based enterprises in dealing with financial services and assessing potential investment opportunities,” explained Neimeier.
Speaking on behalf of NBS Bank, the Bank’s Chief Treasury Officer, Benedicto Nkhoma said NBS Bank will support the project by adapting and developing tailor-made banking products or services for the small-scale farmers, farmer organizations and agri-based entrepreneurs.
“We will be promoting digital based products and services for farmers and agri-business enterprises which will result in improved access to financial services by the targeted groups. This is in line with NBS Bank’s strategy in being a bank that brings about transformation in people’s lives. A huge proportion of Malawians depend on farming for their day to day welfare requirements,” said Nkhoma.
He also said the bank will build capacity through AgriFin training in collaboration with GIZ.
“This project aims at improving access to adapted or tailored financial services to 10,000 farmers and 200 agri-business enterprises in rural areas,” said Nkhoma.