By Mc Donald Chapalapata, a Contributor
National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc Wednesday gave out K1.5 million towards the first ever Malawi Agriculture and Technology Conference (MATC) slated for 23rd to 24th September, 2021 at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
Speaking in Lilongwe during a cheque presentation ceremony to Pan African Learning and Growth Network (PALGNET) who are organizing the conference in collaboration with ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM), mHub and the Ministry of Agriculture, NBM plc Senior Manager, Corporate Banking Shadreck Malenga said the Bank supports the conference because it will help farmers maximize their outputs.
“NBM plc is cognizant of the fact that agriculture significantly contributes to employment, economic growth, poverty reduction, food security, and nutrition in this country and that there is therefore a need to fuel agricultural sector growth in order to aid the country’s development, hence our support towards this sector.”
“The aim of the conference is to bring together Agriculture and Technology communities to share information on the latest trends, technology solutions and scientific advances that will inform agriculture practice and assist farmers to maximize their outputs. As a Bank, this is of interest to us and that is why we are supporting this conference with K1.5 million, we hope this will go in some way to make the conference a success,” said Malenga.
He said NBM plc has been financing small scale and large-scale farmers in value chains of tobacco, maize, macadamia nuts and lemon grass and that as of August 2021, NBM plc has financed farmers with over USD 18 million.
Malenga said as a commitment of supporting the agriculture industry in the country, NBM plc, in November 2020 rolled out of a Farm Infrastructure and Implements loan facility to aid eligible farmers in both the small- scale and Estate sub-sectors in acquiring agricultural equipment and other farm implements.
“This facility covers a comprehensive range of agricultural equipment such as irrigation equipment, borehole equipment, land preparation equipment, solar equipment, silos, threshers, processing and oil extraction equipment, beef and dairy equipment and any other equipment used for agriculture related activities. This is our commitment that we have made to support the agriculture sector because we believe how important it is for our economy to improve,” said Malenga.
PALGNET Regional Director (Southern and East Africa) Leonard Kazembe thanked NBM plc for the support towards the conference.
“On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to NBM for the sponsorship support rendered towards our efforts in bringing this conference together. As you are aware hosting such a big event requires a lot of resources which on our own without the support of other stakeholders is hard to achieve,” said Kazembe.