By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos |
Sterling Bank Plc has launched a new product, Sterling Women and Youths in Agriculture Finance code-named SWAY-AgFin, to provide low-cost financing at single-digit rates to young men and women entrepreneurs in the agribusiness value chain across the country.
Group head, Agric Finance and Solid Minerals Financing for Sterling Bank, Mrs Bukola Awosanya, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos yesterday.
She explained that SWAY-AgFin was designed by Sterling Bank in collaboration with MasterCard Foundation.
She added that the facility has a maximum tenor of two years and aims to grow agribusinesses in Nigeria with an overall focus to impact local production, improve employability for young entrepreneurs, and, ultimately grow the economy.
Awosanya noted that the SWAY-AgFin offering is available to entrepreneurs who are earnestly seeking to scale the output of their agribusiness offerings, adding that the opportunity will equip beneficiaries with the requisite knowledge and skills in financial management and good agricultural practices while generating direct and indirect employment.
She also added that the SWAY-AgFin offering is a testament of the Bank’s continuing commitment to agribusiness financing, noting that Sterling Bank’s various interventions within the sector “have been made possible with the support of partners such as the MasterCard Foundation.”
Awosanya hinted that the product will help increase productivity in the agribusiness sector, while easing the devastating effects of the pandemic in the lives of youths and women, adding that MasterCard Foundation’s involvement underscores the commitment of the two organisations to the growth of critical sectors in the Nigerian economy.
“The offering, therefore, targets youths and women who are involved in all levels in the agricultural value chain, inclusive of smallholder farmers who usually operate on one or two hectares, processors, input providers, and small-scale processors/SMEs whose businesses require cost-effective financing to help scale,” Awosanya declared.
Awosanya stated that the fund was open to all; especially those with a keen interest in advancing agriculture with the use of technological innovations.