The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), in partnership with NATSAVE – National Savings and Credit Bank – has handed over tractors and hammermills under the Bunjimi asset-plus-loan scheme to eight farmers in Nkeyema district at a cost of K632,300.
In 2013, ZNFU partnered with NATSAVE to promote access to affordable finance and equipment to small-scale farmers among other components.
ZNFU president Evelyn Nguleka said the loan scheme is steadily expanding its portfolio to equip farmers with assets of their choice through mechanisation.
Dr Nguleka said at the handover ceremony of three tractors and five hammermills on Wednesday that ZNFU will continue to empower its members with information to enhance productivity and improve access and linkages to input providers and suppliers.
“Time has come for farming to be treated as a business, hence farmers should be supported through mechanisation to raise productivity. The eight implements we are giving out today will not only benefit the recipient farmers, but will also benefit their neighbouring farmers.
“This will not just boost the economic levels of the growers, but will eventually benefit the community,” she said.
Earlier, NATSAVE Mongu branch manager Gilead Musinga said the bank will continue to play its role in contributing to economic development by providing support to key sectors such as agriculture.
Mr Musinga said NATSAVE will continue to come up with various banking products suitable for the people in the country as a way of increasing financial inclusion, including partnerships with the private sector such as ZNFU and SARO Agriculture Equipment Company.
At the same event, Western Province Minister Poniso Njeulu said Government welcomes initiatives that provide support to farmers through access to assets which will enhance their productivity and promote value addition.