Rwanda: Microfinance Firm Boosts Agro-Mechanisation
By Susan Babijja, The New Times
A local microfinance institution, Duterimbere IMF Ltd, has launched new products that target the promotion of agricultural mechanisation among small scale farmers.
The new loan scheme aims at enabling farmers to purchase machines that will simplify, modernize their work and increase on their productivity.
“Our strategy is to financially build the capacity of farmers through enabling them to buy agricultural equipment like tractors as this will demonstrate our contribution to the mechanisation strategy in the agriculture sector,” Duterimbere’s Managing Director, Delphin Ngamije announced.
He highlighted that his institution is focused in identifying areas where other institutions were not active enough.
He disclosed that Duterimbere will this year provide credit worth Rwf4 billion from Rwf2.5 billion given out last year, with the agricultural sector getting the lion’s share of the funds.
He made the remarks on Saturday during an event organised to educate the institution’s employees across the country about the Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF). At the end of the session, each employee made a contribution worth a month’s salary.
Giving details about the new products, Ngamije said that although farming is perceived as a risky venture among financial institutions, building the capacity of farmers to carry out their activities on a large scale based on technological advancement can easily uplift the image of financial institutions.
He explained that the initiative is in line with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group’s call to embrace micro-leasing for the benefit of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
At the same event, the institution also launched the school fees loan scheme which requires a client to save funds for at least four months before he can apply, among other requirements.
“Depending on how much our particular client will need, according to our guidelines, we shall multiply his or her savings fourfold,” he observed.
Duterimbere operates 17 branches across the country and also empowers women entrepreneurs economically.
Women in rural areas are the focus of the institution and encourages them to initiate income generating activities as well as enhancing their entrepreneurial skills. The institution also encourages women and other members to adopt a savings culture.