Sugarcane farmers in Busoga can now access up to Shs100 million in unsecured farmer loans repayable within two years at an interest rate of 2% per month courtesy of a new partnership between Stanbic Bank, Kakira sugar works and Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association.
Dubbed the Stanbic Sugarcane Farmer Solutions, the offering was launched at Kakira Sugar Factory in Jinja on Tuesday. It was attended by farmers under the Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association, officials from Stanbic Bank, Kakira sugar works and Busoga Kingdom.
The initiative is designed to help cane farmers cover their grower expenses or expand acreage to enhance their output and meet the rising demand for sugar both locally and across East Africa. Under the same Stanbic deal, cane growers will also access medical insurance cover for themselves and their main dependents from as low as Shs600,000 per person annually with Stanbic MediProtect.
The health cover caters for In-patient, Out-patient, Maternity, Dental and Funeral cover for immediate and extended family members with no age limits. Furthermore, Stanbic will organize financial fitness sessions at no charge for farmers. The sessions will be conducted in English and local languages by experts in areas like saving and investments, managing expenditure, debt management and how to protect their wealth.
Stanbic will also onboard farmers onto FlexiPay wallets which allows them to send, receive money, and make payments for goods and services at no charge. “We are pleased to unveil this comprehensive deal which will enable us partner and serve over 7000 sugarcane farmers with unsecured financing and financial literacy and facilitate them to exploit existing opportunities to expand their production while improving the quality of their livelihoods. This for us is the true meaning of our purpose—Uganda is our home, we drive her growth,” by providing a variety of personalized services and products to help them manage their finances as they start the journey towards accomplishing their dreams,” said Mathias Jumba, Manager for informal sector banking.
Busoga Kingdom’s minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Joan Machora Kittio, thanked Stanbic Bank for the innovation and courage to lend to farmers, noting that that is the “It Can Be” spirit that Stanbic is known for.’ He also advised the farmers who get impatient when prices drop and end up burning their sugarcane to restrain from the habit and understand how to be adaptive to change.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Abubaker Ojwang Omboko stated that they are 10,000 sugarcane farmers under Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association (BSGA) and lauded the Stanbic deal as an exciting booster that will go a long away in enhancing the livelihoods of cane farmers. “It has always been our dream to partner with a financial institution which can help us get closer to achieving our dreams; we thank Stanbic Bank for taking this courage and industry leadership move to support farmers,” he said.
Uganda is the largest producer of refined sugar in the East African Community, with annual production nationwide standing at 510,000 metric tons as of 2022. Of this, 360,000 metric tons are consumed locally, and the remaining 150,000 metric tons made available for export.