Bank Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), Tuesday, announced it will invest US$2.1m in agriculture development in the next two years.
BPR`s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Herman Klaassen, said the money will be lent farmers, farmers’ cooperatives, out-growers finance schemes, and other large and medium agriculture related businesses.
A new Agri-business department has been formed at the bank to handle the project.
“This program will focus on the largest two agri-finance segments which are emerging and commercial agribusiness,” Klaassen said.
The venture is jointly supported by the Bank and the Agriculture Financing Support Facility, a World Bank initiative founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Klaassen boasted of the bank’s successes in implementing similar projects, noting that together with other development partners, even this one will be successful.
BPR`s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Paul van Apeldoorn, noted that their clients in all branches nationwide seeking loans would spend less time once all the bank’s requirements are fulfilled.
“We shall engage in promotion services that will also aim at sensitizing the population on the significance of financial services towards developing their activities,” Apeldoorn said.
Ajai Nair, AgriFin, World Bank, Program Coordinator noted that farmers’ lack or limited access to finance is a major hindrance to agricultural development in most African countries.