By Apollo Mubiru
The Government has disbursed sh751.33 billion to farmers under the Agriculture Credit Facility (ACF), Bank of Uganda (BOU) deputy governor Michael Atingi-Ego has said.
“As of December 31, 2022, a total of sh751.33 billion had been disbursed to 2,970 eligible projects across the country. The Government’s contribution amounts to shillings 380.67 billion in disbursements, up from sh21.02 billion in 2010 upon operationalisation. Currently, 20 out of 33 supervised financial institutions are PFIs [Participating Financial Institutions],” Atingi-Ego said.
He added that BOU has undertaken steps to review the operations of ACF and the Small Business Recovery Fund (SBRF) in order to widen the beneficiary scope.
Addressing an ACF and SBRF workshop last week at Kampala Serena Hotel, Atingi-Ego said ACF has grown steadily in the volume and value of loans extended to farmers and agro-processors in Uganda.
The Government set up the ACF in partnership with commercial banks, Uganda Development Bank Ltd, microfinance deposit-taking institutions and credit institutions as PFIs in 2009.
The scheme’s operations started in October 2009, with the aim of facilitating the provision of medium and long term financing to projects engaged in agriculture and agroprocessing, focusing mainly on commercialisation and value addition.
Loans under the ACF are disbursed to farmers and agro-processors through PFIs at more favourable terms than are usually available under conventional loans.
Eligible projects for ACF, according to BOU, include acquisition of agricultural machinery, post harvest handling equipment, storage facilities, agro processing, mechanisation and any other related agricultural and agro-processing machinery and equipment.