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Zambia Daily Mail Article: NatSave invests K16m in bunjimi loans

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka

NATIONAL Savings and Credit Bank (NatSave) managing director Cephas Chabu says the bank has so far invested K16 million into the Bunjimi asset plus loan product that is undertaken to mechanise smallholder farmers.

In an interview at the ongoing 90th Zambia the Show, Mr Chabu said over 300 farmers countrywide have benefitted from the product that was launched last year in conjunction with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU).

“This is a loan for every farmer. It is getting bigger and better, and the response is overwhelming. NatSave is financing the buying of agriculture equipment at affordable rates so that we contribute to the mechanisation of our smallholder farmers who have land but cannot increase production.”

“We have partnered with AFGRI, Saro, Camco, Hazida and others to supply tractors, planters, weeders, rippers, ploughs and related equipment. The farmers are also assured of after-sales services on this equipment,” he said.

He said the theme of the show. Managing environment for growth, is in line with some of the bank’s objectives.

“It helps us focus on a number of solutions tailored to our customers. For example, we are working with Muhanya Solar to finance and supply environmentally friendly equipment to enable people light their homes, irrigate their farms and other renewable energy strategies. We have also gone paperless, as a bank. We are able to send sms alert on mobile phones or emails on every transaction, so there is no need to write on paper and this way we are contributing to energy efficiency and sustainable way of managing the environment,” Mr Chabu said.

PLATINUM SPONSOR INTERVIEW: “The opportunities for growth are immense, it only needs some investment and farmers with courage to take ‘the bull by the horns’.”

Exclusive interview with Wayne Wiid, Executive Country Manager, AFGRI, platinum sponsors at Agritech Expo in Chisamba in April.

1)    Welcome back to Agritech Expo! We are thrilled to have you back. How was your experience at the event?
The fact that we upgraded our level of sponsorship to Platinum status speaks for itself, doesn’t it? AFGRI is proud to be associated with the AGRITECH Expo, the level of professionalism in the hosting of the Expo needs to be commended.

2)    What would you consider as particular highlights for AFGRI as a business during 2015?
The financing solutions which have been put in place for Zambian farmers (either small scale or commercial) are a great pride and joy for AFGRI.

Small scale farmers can be financed through the John Deere Financial/Zanaco/ZNFU/AFGRI scheme while commercial farmers can be serviced through John Deere Financial/Stanbic.

3)    Any exciting new products or projects that are in the offing for this year?
We will be launching the new John Deere 5042C tractor. This is a 42HP tractor which will be ideally suited for the emergent farmer. The costing of the tractor will be very competitive and we are convinced that this tractor will help drive mechanization within Zambia.

Through our financing partners (John Deere Financial and Stanbic) we will be offering very attractive financing packages, especially on combines. Commercial farmers will be pleasantly surprised at the rates offered.

4)    Zambia’s agricultural sector is facing some challenges currently, including the drought – your thoughts in how the agri community can overcome these challenges?
It isn’t only the drought which is posing a major challenge for the farmers, high interest rates, strengthening of the US$ and electricity issues are also contributing to the current woes of the farmers. Farming is cyclic and we will have to “ride this downfall out”, perseverance is key.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, there are some positives. The open border policy of the government on the sale of commodities is a massive boost for the economy.

5)    What makes the agricultural sector in Zambia exciting?
The opportunities for growth are immense, it only needs some investment and farmers with courage to take ‘the bull by the horns’. There is a vast pool of emergent farmers that can be developed in order to take them to ‘the next level’.

6)    How important is Agritech Expo as an annual forum for the farming sector in this region?
This is an absolute unique event, farmers of all spheres of life can and will find products suitable to his/her own requirements at the Expo. Whether you are a small scale, emergent, commercial or corporate farmer you will be able to get value by visiting the Expo.

7)    What will be your message at Agritech Expo this year?
Farmers and visitors are welcome to visit AFGRI’s exhibit and come and talk with experts in their fields. Representatives of the following product range supplied by AFGRI will be present:
•    John Deere
•    Rovic Leers
•    Lemken
•    Amazone
•    JCB Agricultural Range

Naturally AFGRI’s own staff within Equipment and Grain Management will also be on hand to meet and assist the farmers of Zambia.

Exciting new finance solution for emerging farmers and Agric Part-time contractors

John Deere Financial, Zanaco, Zambia National Farmers Union and AFGRI closed an alliance which is marked as a milestone in Zambia enabling access to finance for emerging famers. John Deere Financial has been introduced as a dedicated solution to meet the finance needs of emerging farmers for the acquisition of John Deere equipment.

This collaboration provides customers of AFGRI Zambia, (the authorised John Deere dealer in Zambia) a unique finance solution to acquire John Deere equipment.

Benefits of John Deere Financial:

 Access to professionals who understand John Deere equipment and the various business segments John Deere serves. This is now combined with a financial solution to suit the specific business needs of emergent farmers.

  • Access to a broad range of financial structures, flexible payment options, and competitive rates through the alliance with Zanaco.
  • Competitive interest rates subsidized with up to 3%. Terms & conditions apply.
  • Access to exceptional service from a dedicated team of professionals at Zanaco and AFGRI providing a one-stop shopping experience.
  • Asset backed finance (additional collateral not necessarily a requirement).
  • An added benefit is that a free fertilizer spreader is given to each purchaser if he purchases a tractor and a minimum of two implements through JDF