Ugandan Farmers to benefit from 50billion sh credit from Germany

Jul 02, 2011

Ugandan farmers are to benefit from a sh 50 billion credit line from the German Development Bank for value addition to improve the agricultural sector, Klaus Duexmann, German Ambassador to Uganda, announced. The money will be made available to farmers through the Agribusiness Initiative Trust (ABi Trust), a Danish funded organization.

“I am pleased to announce that the German Development Bank KfW will be signing a sh50b memorandum of understanding with the ministry of finance to provide credit lines to financial intermediaries in rural areas to fund agricultural related activities,” said Klaus Duexmann, speaking at the opening of the agricultural finance conference "Zipping Finance and Farming" at the Speke Resort in Munyonyo.

He noted that most financial institututions don’t understand the needs of farmers, hence the failure to provide them with financing. “Bankers usually don’t know much about the needs of farmers. They are much familiar with needs for the urban area other than the needs and concerns of farmers in the country. The concern is to bring the two together to facilitate access to finance for agriculture in Uganda.” Duexmann added that the money shall be availed in a competitive way and only farmers and farmers' organizations with winning business proposals shall be considered.

Dr. Kisamba Mugerwa, an agricultural expert from Uganda, called for the revival of cooperatives and produce marketing boards to enable farmers access loans. “If the only way farmers can access farm inputs is by groups, then the revival of cooperative movements is essential to revive agriculture in this country,” said Mugerwa.

Aston Kajura, the state minister for investment applauded the German government for the financial support, adding that more was needed to channel funds to farmers through savings and credit societies (SACCOs). “We recognize the contribution of SACCOs to rural populations; this conference will look at ways of making finance readily available to farmers through these rural based financial institutions to support the agricultural sector which has enormous potential,” he said.

Prossy Nandoudou, Kampala, Uganda