Agricultural financing for youth projects gets boost
04 January 2021 | Agriculture
The youth’s access to finance received another boost with a cooperation agreement between Agribank and the National Youth Service (NYS).
The two institutions recently signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The objectives of the agreement are aimed towards the financing of NYS agricultural youth projects, provision of advisory services by Agribank to young farmers, collaboration in research and development initiatives as well as the sharing of information and expertise.
In terms of the agreement, the NYS will develop and present project proposals for Agribank’s consideration on behalf of trainees vetted by NYS.
It will also assist with and facilitate the financing application review process between youth applicants and the bank.
According to Agribank, it will provide financing for approved agricultural projects in line with its credit policy.
The NYS will also identify and present areas for skills development among the youth and notify the bank of upcoming events to jointly coordinate capacity-building activities for the youth.
Research and development
Meanwhile, Agribank said the NYS will avail its farms and production areas to the bank for farmers’ training events and on its part, the bank will avail its technical advisors and mentors to conduct training as per NYS’ request.
The two institutions will also cooperate on research and development initiatives.
“The importance of synergies and up-to-date information cannot be over-emphasised to prompt and timely policy interventions in order to be responsive to the needs of our target markets. The signing of the MoU is one way in which Agribank plans to cement its support to the youth in agriculture by responding to their needs in a coherent and targeted fashion, Agribank CEO, Sakaria Nghikembua, said.
He expressed hope that the opportunities presented through the signing of the agreement will be optimised so that the youth can access more financing and contribute towards innovative and smart agriculture projects.
NYS commissioner Dr Felix Musukubili said it is important to share information on best practices in terms of youth skills development and needs.
“We are excited to be sharing information on agricultural youth projects being implemented by NYS”.
According to him, the NYS is ready to ensure free information flow in the areas of good corporate governance as agreed by the two institutions and to exchange expertise accordingly.
The institutions will establish a platform for bi-annual meetings to regularly interact and practically implement the activities under the MoU.