The European Investment Bank (EIB) has partnered with First Capital Bank for a K25 billion agricultural investment program that will provide smallholder farmers with access to loans with the aim of accelerating agricultural investments in the country.
The loan facility between First Capital Bank and the European Investment Bank will be implemented under the European Union-funded flagship program called Kulima.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Thomas Ostros said the EIB and the EU are committed to supporting high-impact private and public investments across Malawi, including improving access to finance for smallholder farmers and addressing the challenges of climate change.
He noted that Malawi is a key country of intervention for the EIB in Africa and that the excellent cooperation with Malawian partners has transformed lives and boosted priority infrastructure investments.
Ostros added saying that he wants to see women benefit a lot from the investment so that they can be motivated because they work so hard when it comes to agricultural activities.
“Team Europe also works to promote women’s economic empowerment, support the inclusion of smallholders in value chains and make agriculture in Malawi more resilient to climate change. It is not a pipe dream and I can say with confidence that there is good progress around this program. I hope First Capital Bank will support private sector operations that meet these criteria,” he explained.
For his part, Spyridon Georgopoulos of First Capital Bank said that they recognize the role that entrepreneurs, businesses and smallholder farmers play in the development of the economy and therefore the provision of easy access access to credit is an urgent requirement to create an environment conducive to business prosperity. .
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, sharing best practices and innovation to unlock investments. in the area.
“Agriculture remains a key sector of Malawi’s economy and, as a corporate citizen, we feel compelled to complement government efforts to develop the sector. The new funding will provide longer-term loans that are normally available in local and foreign currency,” he explained.
In his remarks, Acting Director of the Nations Ministry of Finance Msowoya commended the two investors for their support, saying the support will go a long way as the agricultural sector needs more such investments to benefit all. Farmers.
Msowoya then asked First Capital Bank to always open doors for beneficiaries and that the ministry expects the bank’s process to go smoothly as agricultural entrepreneurship in Malawi needs support. financial.