Global Communities Malawi and Institute of Bankers (IOB) Malawi have said inclusive agri-business financing could significantly transform the sector and contribute to economic growth.
Officials have raised the sentiments after Global Communities organised a workshop for 10 financial institutions that have been involved in financing production of non – traditional cash crops across the country.
During the meeting, it transpired that commercial banks have disbursed $65 million towards the production of the non-traditional cash crops.
Global Communities Malawi Country Manager, Nobel Moyo, said they partnered the banks in implementing a project dubbed Agribusiness Investment for Market Stimulation to bolster trade in legumes, cereals, horticulture and livestock.
“We have done quite a lot in the past four years and this meeting was called to review the progress made and best ways to move forward, in terms of increasing access to funds among farmers. So, yes, there is a forward movement because the banks have released $65 million to the cause but we can do more,” Moyo said.
IOB Chief Executive Officer, Lyness Mkungula, said, while agri-business financing was happening in market, it was at a small level.
“…not everybody is being included; so, we would like to extend to people that are excluded from financial inclusion.
“As long as we keep them out, we will not improve the banking sector, let alone the economy. If we invest in these people, definitely, there will be savings in the bank,” Mkungula said.