Stanbic Bank Zambia, John Deere sign pact

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STANBIC Bank Zambia Limited (SBZL) has signed an agreement with John Deere aimed at providing farmers with farming equipment to boost yields countrywide.
The bank says lack of access to farming equipment by farmers in the agriculture sector has hindered them from increasing yield.
Stanbic Bank Zambia head of personal and business banking Mukwandi Chibesakunda said the partnership will help the bank’s customers have access to farming equipment from John Deere, with improved pricing and reduced interest rates.
“Zambia can better feed itself and the growing global population if productivity can be boosted. This agreement will empower farmers across the country through access to world-class farming equipment at affordable rates through financing,” Ms Chibesakunda said.
She said this in a statement availed to the Daily Mail in Lusaka yesterday.
Ms Chibesakunda said the provision of farming equipment through the agreement will see increased productivity in a sector that provides 70 percent of the population’s employment.
She said efforts to diversify the economy can only be realised once farmers are empowered to access farming equipment.
Ms Chibesakunda said access to equipment by farmers will help them increase their output and grow the agriculture sector’s contribution to the national economy from 21 percent.
“Given the focus on agriculture as an opportunity to diversify the economy, the Government has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at improving yields. Farmers in Zambia still have limited access to finance to improve their yield and exploit the country’s vast expanses of land,” she said.
Ms Chibesakunda said Zambia’s agriculture sector uses only 15 percent of the 58 percent arable land across its estimated 752, 000 square kilometres of land.
She said despite the agriculture sector contributing 21 percent to the country’s gross domestic product, there are still challenges being faced by farmers.
Meanwhile, John Deere area sales manager for Southern Africa John Goncalves said the partnership is a further development of the company’s product offering in the country.
Mr Goncalves said the firm’s premium products and services will now be even more accessible with the financing options available from the collaboration to suit customers’ needs.

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