Small scale sugarcane out-growers in Busoga region are set to benefit from a new financing facility designed to help cover their expenses or expand acreage.
Stanbic Bank, in partnership with Kakira Sugar Works Limited (KSW), has rolled out the Sugarcane value proposition with the main objective of increasing cane output to meet rising demand for sugar both locally and across East Africa.
Uganda is the largest producer of refined sugar in the East African Community, with annual production nationwide standing at 510,000 metric tonnes as of 2022. Of this, 360,000 metric tonnes are consumed locally and the remaining 150,000 metric tonnes made available for export.
Financing facility is expected to boost production capacity which will in turn create more jobs besides the other added benefits to the community in the sugarcane growing areas.
“Financing facilities help sugarcane players to exploit the existing opportunities to expand their businesses by providing a variety of personalised services and products to help them manage their finances as they start the journey towards accomplishing their dreams,” Stanbic Bank’s Mathias Jumba said in Jinja.
Addressing the problem raised by sugarcane farmers that they were being charged very high interest and extremely stringent payment terms from other places where they get money, Jumba stated that Stanbic’s Sugarcane Farmer Solutions will solve that because the Bank understands farmers and their different earning cycles.
He pledged that the Bank would not let its plans end on paper, but let the farmers feel the impact. Our Sugarcane Farmer Solutions are not just about providing money but also financial literacy to help farmers grow,” he stated.
Busoga Kingdom’s minister for Foreign Affairs, Owek Joan Machora Kittio, advised the farmers who get impatient when prices drop and end up burning their sugarcane to restrain from the habit. “People should understand how to be adaptive to change and not give up.” This is the “It Can Be” spirit that we stand for,” the minister stated.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Abubaker Ojwang Omboko stated that they are 10,000 sugarcane farmers under Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association (BSGA). He expressed excitement about the solutions that will be provided by Stanbic Bank,”
“It has always been our dream to partner with a financial institution which can drive us to our dreams. Stanbic Bank has all we need to help us reach our dreams and we are excited about these” he stated.
The Bank is also offering farmers unsecured loan amounts up to Shs 100 million, with a loan tenor up to 24 months at a competitive interest rate at 2% per month at the current prime rate.
The bank will also offer health cover for farmers and their families from as low as Shs 600,000 per person annually with Stanbic MediProtect. The health cover caters for Inpatient, Outpatient, Maternity, Dental and Funeral cover for immediate family, dependents, and extended family members with no age limits.
Stanbic will organise financial fitness sessions at no charge for farmers. The sessions will be conducted in English and local languages by experts, providing training in areas like how to create and build a business, saving and investments, managing expenditure budget, debt management and how to protect their wealth.