By Patrick Okino and Joseph Ekol
The Bank of Uganda has called upon farmers in the country to take advantage of the Agricultural Credit Facility to transform the sector and foster the economy.
The bank says ACF has been in operation for 14 years and they have so far disbursed or lent out shillings 813 billion to farmers as a result of constant engagement with financial institutions.
The head of disbursements and recovery at the central bank, Winnie Wuliisa, says farmers can borrow the money at a relatively lower interest rate from that of the financial institution supervised by the Bank of Uganda.
Addressing the business community at Margarita Palace Hotel in Lira City during the Lango region Town Hall meeting on October 19, 2023, she said the bank manages the funds on behalf of the Government where it contributes 50% and financial institutions also the same percentage.
“The interest rate is 12% per annum. It means the farmer who is borrowing is financially okay at 1% per month and you cannot actually borrow for over a period of eight years,” she added.
She added that the Government together with the financial institution, decided to come together and create these important funds for farmers who are able to borrow at affordable interest rates.
Bank of Uganda deputy governor Michael Atingi Ego says it is their duty to actively engage with the people they serve.
“This town hall meeting is an opportunity for the Bank of Uganda to not only communicate about our work and its impact but to also listen to and gather feedback from you, ” he said in a speech delivered by Christine Alupo, the deputy director at the bank.
“Your views are pertinent to improving our performance which helps us maintain loyalty to serving the interests of all Ugandans,” he added.
“At the BoU, transparency is central in delivering our mandate. Being transparent and accountable about the central bank’s governance, policies and outcomes with the public reduces uncertainty and contributes to better policy outcomes,” he added.
Atingi said: “What is even more important is that people can understand what we are doing. Talking in complicated technical language, and remaining in air-conditioned offices in Kampala, are not options for us”.
“Our job, like a three-legged stool, stands on three key pillars: Promoting the stability of prices of goods and services in the markets, overseeing the safety and strength of the supervised financial institutions such as banks and microfinance deposit-taking institutions, and ensuring a reliable and helpful payment system ranging from currency notes and coins to mobile money,” he said.
The meeting attracted both managers of commercial banks, farming communities and top leaders from the Central Bank.
LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Bosco Ogwang Edola, the director Uganda national Chambers of Commerce and Industry in charge of northern and eastern requesting Bank of Uganda to open its branch in Lira City.