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Tuesday,August 20,2019 03:45 AM

126,000 youth in north to get agribusiness financial boost

By Wilson Manishimwe

Added 2nd May 2019 04:30 PM

Partnerships like this are helping to boost this agribusiness project to attract organisations that are interested in putting money into agriculture,” said Kituuka.

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(Left to Right) Head of credit at equity bank jimmy mwangangi, head of operations at Equity bank, kenneth onyango, executive director of equity bank uganda anthony kituuka, country director for Goal Uganda, Jennifer Williams, programme director at goal Netsaalem Gebrie and deputy director of programs Mercy Corps Uganda, Hans Muzoora launching the equity bank dynamic partnerships at Imperial Royale on March 27, 2019. (Photo by Mary Kansiime)

Partnerships like this are helping to boost this agribusiness project to attract organisations that are interested in putting money into agriculture,” said Kituuka.

AGRIBUSINESS
 
NORTHERN UGANDA-126,000 youth involved in agribusiness in Northern Uganda districts of Lira, Abim, Kaboong and Agago are to get financial boost through low interest rate loans, financial literacy training in the programme dubbed “Dynamic”.
 
The six months programme will be executed by Equity Bank in partnership with Goal Uganda, a humanitarian organisation that focuses on building community resilience and supports socio-economic development through agricultural market systems and health system strengthening.
 
During the signing of partnership memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, Anthony Kituuka, Equity Bank Uganda Executive Director said through the partnership, the bank will offer loans to youth at 10-15% interest rates, which is low, compared to market lending rates.
 
“The cost of finance is driven by supply of funds (savings); we believe that there’s money in informal sector, in agriculture people get paid but most of them don’t keep money in the bank.
 
By working with partners like Goal, we shall mop-up these savings through Equiduuka and our mobile banking platforms to get good supply base of money hence offer affordable loans,” said Kituuka.
 
He said having partners on board helps reduces risks of lending to farmers through their grants.  “This means that if you lend money and he/she defaults, the partners and the bank will share the loss.
 
Partnerships like this are helping to boost this agribusiness project to attract organisations that are interested in putting money into agriculture,” said Kituuka.
 
There has been less focus by commercial banks on farmer level but through agent banking, he noted that farmers will be brought on board hence deepening financial inclusion and growth of agriculture sector.
 
 The partnership agreement which was signed recently will strengthen ongoing efforts of GOAL Uganda’s market systems development initiatives to creating opportunities for youth in agribusinesses and off-farm enterprises in the said four districts of northern Uganda.
 
“The growing youth population in Uganda is a great opportunity for the country's economic development. Creating decent and dignified employment and self-employment for this young population is our main objective in DYNMAIC program. The partnership with Equity Bank will definitely help to achieve this objective” said Jennifer Williams Country Director, GOAL Uganda.
 
Williams also said the organisation will offer financial training, marketing and agricultural value addition so that they get more incomes.
 
“The first thing is getting them back on track, have their business records and make them bankable. The first phase runs for six months but later we shall expand the programme to districts of Gulu, Kitgum among others,” she stated.
 
'Focus crops'
 
Sources at the event told New Vision that the key focus crops include bananas, tea, cotton, agro processing and beef. The initial budget is sh100m but the source said the funding for the project could increase up to sh600m

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