Malawi has initiated a K25 billion agricultural investment program. First Capital Bank worked with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the execution.
Small-scale farmers would be able to obtain loans under the agriculture investment scheme, accelerating the country’s investment in the sector. The funding facility will be implemented as part of the Kulima flagship program, which is funded by the European Union.
Following the signing ceremony, Thomas Ostros, vice president of the EIB, stated that the EIB and EU were committed to assisting high-impact private and public investment across Malawi, including enhancing smallholder farmers’ access to financing and addressing the problems associated with 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.
“Team Europe also strives to promote women’s 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 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 its track- record of supporting agriculture across Malawi by improving access to finance, and 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 are 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 benefit to all farmers.