The Governor Bank of Uganda, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime on Tuesday extended his gratitude to UBA for inviting him to this year’s Annual Bankers Conference and for choosing to focus on a topic and sector that plays a great role in the country’s economy.
He was speaking at Victorial Hall, Serena Hotel during the Annual Bankers Conference themed, “De-risking the financing and investment in agriculture to promote youth employment and inclusive growth”.
“A demand-driven sector will help foster demand both locally, eventually growing the export revenues of local firms, if Uganda is to become the region’s breadbasket,” Mutebile said.
He noted that comprehensive effort from all stakeholders in the agricultural sector will help to bring about needed development and full potential of the agriculture in Uganda.
The Governor said he is optimistic that Banks will exploit opportunities within Bancassurance as they harness synergies to further support the Agricultural sector.
“It’s also important to link international farms with local farmers as we try to learn best practices in the different sections within the sector,” Mutebile noted.
He spoke on the developments within the banking industry such as Agent Banking which will ease access to financial services for agriculturalists across the country and went on to applaud them.
Speaking at the same event, Ms. Marianne Schoemaker, Managing Director, Rabo Partnerships, said that based on Raiffeisen’s model, agricultural credit was extended through savings and credit unions, bringing scarce capital within reach of farmer entrepreneurs.
She said enabling access to financial services gave a strong boost to investments in agriculture.
She said that embracing digitisation for example the Agri-Wallet which can enable off-taker pays on electronic wallet at harvest time, automatic savings at harvest for next season, top-up loan farm inputs and supplier finance.
“The benefits of digitalization in agriculture include quality farm inputs, creation of digitally tracked records and more funding for farmers and aggregators.”
She went on: “The benefits of digitalization in agriculture include quality farm inputs, creation of digitally tracked records and more funding for farmers and aggregators.”
She pointed to the factors that are key to enabling success in the Agricultural Sector.
“A sense of urgency, sufficient agricultural infrastructure, policies, education and willingness to collaborate.
The Guest of Honour at the Annual Bankers Conference, Hon. Matia Kasaija, representing the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda shared key statistics with guests; saying that over 40% of Uganda’s export earnings are realized from the agricultural sector.
He also noted that the sector is the threshold of the country’s nutrition security.
The areas include; strengthening agricultural research, technology adaptation, promoting sustainable land use and increasing access to agricultural finance with specific options for female farmers.
“We must devote time to transform agriculture from subsistence to commercial level, a responsibility falls that on us all, including the private sector,” Kasaija said.
He noted that government was aware of the need to transform the Agricultural Sector and its value chain and has therefore turned its focus to select areas in the journey of transformation.