Small holder farmers lack support


Stanbic Bank has pledged its continued support towards growing the agribusiness in the country as a measure to upscale the agriculture sector.

Stanbic Bank Head of Agribusiness Edith Chuma says the private sector, which includes financial institutions, has a role to play in the agriculture value chain process, leading to economic development.

She notes that 70 percent of the agribusiness is from small holder farmers but that they lack access to financial information and market area that can help them through production, hence are taken advantage of.

Ms. Chuma was speaking at the 13th African Union Private Sector Forum, panel discussion that was looking at the role of stakeholders in boosting agribusiness; promoting the use of agro- technologies to improve production and productivity throughout the agriculture value chain at the Mulungushi international Conference Centre.

She noted that there is still a need for development in agribusiness for Africa to realise her potential in agriculture and productivity.

Ms. Chuma observed that the existing value chains are not well organized, structured, and not yet ecologically advanced, coupled with government agriculture policies.

She called for well integrated value chains that give information about productive system management of agribusiness from farm level to the consumer.

She outlined the stakeholders in the value chain including the farmers, input supplier’s, and financial service providers who will bring to the table insurance companies and foreign customers into one place.

“When we move into a more integrated value chain system that will push for better production, the small holder farmers will have access to information to know where their commodity ends and can negotiate for better prices,” Ms. Chuma suggested.

The IAPRI Executive Director noted the need for small holder farmers to have access to technology that can support their production.

Dr. Chance said that small holder farmers need to be integrated into the produce association to help them access the products available such as finances, irrigation methods among other opportunities that help them commercialize.

Dr. Chance noted the need to also set up multi-stakeholder engagements that will create conditions that will help them produce at a high productive level.

And Nkoka Women in Agribusiness Executive Director Nkolala Halwinde highlighted the need to address the cost of financing for small scale farmers which she said is too high.

Ms Halwinde disclosed that a small holder farmer borrows at an interest rate of 38 percent while commercial farmers get between 11 and 18 percent.

Ms. Halwinde noted that if Africa is to achieve a high production rate in agriculture to feed the whole continent, there is need to support small holder farmers.


  1. TARINO Some of your blogs really baffle me
    what lending rates do you have in mind ?
    A friend some years back was involved in helping small scale farmers
    the repayments were few and far between so the scheme was eventually dropped

  2. Lip service. We want to see numbers. If you don’t have wealth in the family or somewhere, then you are doomed. Commercial farmers have built wealth which helps them. For the rest of us farming is a weekend activity.

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