Wema Bank commits N2b to agric sector funding

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Wema Bank Plc has committed N2 billion to fund agriculture, support farmers and agric-value chain. The investment reaffirms the bank’s commitment to applying technology in delivering excellent financial solutions to Nigerians.

To help to develop the agribusiness value chain, the bank has signed a tripartite commodity aggregation finance scheme with Cellulant Nigeria and Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Plc.

Cellulant owns Agrikore Marketplace, a solution-focused on digitalising both the production and marketing segments of the agric value chain by linking all the players from the production level to the marketing and consumption level, while NIRSAL is a non-bank financial institution owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) created to redefine, measure and share agribusiness-related credit risks in Nigeria.

The tripartite partnership is focused on providing easily accessible, affordable funding to all participants in the co-created platform. The aim is to create access-to-market and access-to-finance for farmers, aggregators, retailers and other primary stakeholders in the agribusiness sector.

Speaking at the Inaugural Partners’ Summit organised by Cellulant in Lagos, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank, Ademola Adebise, reiterated the importance of cooperation between every player in the agric value chain.

Speaking on the theme: “Financing the Agric Value Chain to Deliver Transactional Impact to Stakeholders,” Adebise noted that “holistic interventions across the value chain are required to achieve the desired impact and outcomes in the sector.” He identified a low level of budgetary allocation, negligible financial literacy, a large percentage of unbanked population and the limited understanding of the value chain as part of the challenges facing the agric sector.

He added that Wema Bank has committed N2 billion in funds, which is available for immediate drawdown to commodity aggregators on the Cellulant network to facilitate trade across the value chain. The partnership will also see NIRSAL provide credit risk guarantees for all borrowers in the scheme.

“We are collaborating to provide sustainable finance and market access for the small and medium scale agribusinesses in underbanked rural areas in Nigeria, without the need for traditional brick and mortar bank branches,” Adebise said.

Leveraging on digital technology, Wema Bank’s suite of products including ALAT by Wema, *945#, Bankpass and Wema MoMoney, will ensure its capacity to provide financial service across the agricultural value chain, regardless of our physical presence.

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