Friday, October 18, 2013

Stanbic, John Deere partner to boost farmers yields
By Gift Chanda
Tue 24 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

ACCESS to farming equipment can boost Zambia's use of arable land, according to Stanbic Bank Zambia. Official data shows that Zambia's agriculture sector uses only 15 per cent of the 58 per cent arable land across its estimated 752,000 square kilometres of land.

Stanbic Bank Zambia's head of personal and business banking Mukwandi Chibesakunda noted that the country's agriculture potential was yet to be realised because farmers were still hindered by lack of farming equipment to increase their yield.

Farmers in Zambia further have limited access to finance to improve their yield and exploit the country's vast expanses of land.

Chibesakunda said efforts to diversify Zambia's economy would only be realised once farmers are empowered to access farming equipment that would help them increase their output and ultimately grow the agriculture sector's contribution to the national economy from 21 per cent.

She was speaking in Lusaka when Stanbic Bank signed a collaboration agreement with John Deere aimed at providing farmers with farming equipment to help boost their yields countrywide.

The partnership would see the bank's customers access farming equipment from John Deere, enjoying improved pricing and reduced interest rates.

"Zambia can better feed itself and the growing global population if productivity can be boosted. It is for this reason that I am pleased to announce the signing of a Local Collaboration Agreement between Stanbic Bank and John Deere Financial. The Local Collaboration Agreement outlines our partnership which is aimed at empowering farmers across the country to have access to world class John Deere farming equipment at affordable rates through financing from John Deere Financial and Stanbic Bank," Chibesakunda said.

She explained that the provision of farming equipment through this agreement would see increased productivity in a sector that provides 70 per cent of the population's employment.

Through its Vehicle Asset Finance and Agriculture Banking, Stanbic Bank has been at the forefront of assisting farmers across Zambia to mechanize their agriculture operations and play a pivotal role in economic growth.

And John Goncalves, John Deere area sales manager for southern Africa, welcomed the agreement as it would empower farmers to increase their yield.

"The agreement between John Deere Financial and Stanbic Bank is a further development of our product offering and evidence of our commitment to our customers in Zambia. Through the John Deere collaboration with Stanbic, the premium John Deere products and services will now be even more accessible with the financing options available from John Deere Financial to suit our customer needs," added Goncalves.

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