National Bank of Malawi (NBM) on Thursday unveiled the Farm Infrastructure and Implements Loan Facility which seeks to help simplify farming in Malawi by enabling farmers to move from manual to mechanised farming.
NBM Business Development Manager for Agriculture, Samuel Ngwira, said agriculture contributes to employment creation, economic growth, poverty reduction, food security, and nutrition in this country.
Ngwira said there was need to fuel agriculture sector growth in order to aid the country’s development.
He said the facility would cover 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.
“Farmers of Malawian origin or foreign farmers residing in Malawi are eligible. This includes smallholder farmers with not less than two years’ experience in farming, commercial farmer s and Malawians in rural areas who farm on their own or leased land subject to the new Land Act,” Ngwira said.
According to NBM, under the facility, commercial farmers will be able to access amounts ranging from K5 million to K200 million while smallholder farmers, clubs, societies and salaried farmers will access amounts ranging between K2 million and K100 million.
“The loans shall be repaid over a maximum period of six years through annual, bi-annual, quarterly, and monthly installments over an agreed period.
“The loans may have a moratorium of up to 18 months depending on project needs. Moratorium shall be aligned with project implementation,” Ngwira said.
The bank said it hopes that the facility will ease pressure on farmer’s cash flows by spreading the cost over a period.
“The facility will further help unlock cash flow by assisting farmers refinance their already existing equipment,” Ngwira said.