European Investment Bank (EIB) has partnered with First Capital Bank for a K25 billion agriculture investment scheme which will enable small scale farmers to have access to loans with the aim of accelerating agriculture investment in the country.
The loan facility between First Capital Bank and European Investment Bank will be implemented under the European Union funded flagship Programme called Kulima.
Speaking after signing ceremony, EIB Vice President Thomas Ostros said that the EIB and EU is committed to supporting high-impact private and public investment across Malawi, including improving access to finance by smallholder farmers and addressing the challenges of a changing climate.
He noted that Malawi is a key country of operation for the EIB in Africa and that the excellent cooperation with Malawian partners has transformed lives and strengthened priority infrastructure investment.
Ostros added by saying that it his wish to see women benefiting a lot from the investment so that they can be motivated because they work so hard when it comes to farming activities.
“Team Europe also strives to promote women economic empowerment, to support smallholder inclusion into value chains and to make agriculture in Malawi more resilient to climate change. This is not a pipe dream and I can confidently say that there is a good progress around this agenda. It is my hope that First Capital Bank will support private sector operations that abide by these criteria,” he explained.
On his part, First Capital Bank’s Spyridon Georgopoulos said that they recognize the role entrepreneurs, businesses and smallholder farmers play in the development of the economy and therefore the provision of easy access to credit is an urgent requirement to create a conducive environment for business to thrive.
Georgopoulos went on to say that the Bank is committed to building on their track- record of supporting agriculture across the Malawi by improving access to finance, sharing best practices and innovation to unlock investment across the sector.
“Agriculture remains a key sector in the Malawi economy and as a good corporate citizen, we feel duty-bound in complementing Government efforts in developing the sector. The new financing will provide longer-term loans that normally available in both local and foreign currency,” he explained.
In his remarks , Acting Director in the Ministry of Finance Nations Msowoya commended the two investors for the support saying that the support will go long way considering that the agriculture sector needs more of such investments in order to beneficial to all farmers .
Msowoya then asked the First Capital Bank to always open doors for the beneficiaries and that it is the ministry’s expectation that the bank’s process will be smooth considering that Agriculture Entrepreneurship in Malawi need financial support .