Access Bank Establishes Dedicated Desk to Enhance Agric Lending
•Says it has invested over N200bn in agro businesses
Access Bank Plc has launched a dedicated Agriculture Desk that would support agribusiness and boost food security in Nigeria as part of its commitment to the realisation of “From Farm to Table” policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN).
The Agriculture Desk, which was designed to serve as a specialised unit within the bank, would offer financial and advisory services and provide support to prospective and existing operators in the Nigerian agribusiness value chain.
The bank said the desk would also provide services in the areas of input and supply, primary production, storage, processing, marketing and mechanised agriculture among others in a way that would facilitate the actualisation of the “From Farm to Table” policy thrust of the CBN, which it stressed aligns with its vision of contributing to the country’s achievement of sustainable food security.
Speaking on Tuesday, during a press conference that marked the unveiling of the Agriculture Desk at the Access Towers, the Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Ms. Hadiza Ambursa, said, “the Agriculture Desk is not only about financing. It is about driving transformational change within the agricultural landscape.”
“Our commitment extends beyond monetary support to encompass capacity building, technology adoption, and market access for our clients,” she added.
Ambursa, added that “the Agriculture Desk’s impressive track record has been built on partnerships with key stakeholders, including government agencies, international organisations, and industry associations. This collaborative approach has reinforced our reputation as a reliable driver of growth in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.”
She said Access Bank has positively contributed to the nation’s quest to achieve self-sustained food security.
“So far, the bank’s investment in agribusiness is over N200 billion, which has benefitted over 10,000 agribusinesses, across Small Holder Farms (SHFs), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), organised farmer associations/cooperatives and corporates who are financed under bank’s various product and government schemes.
“The support for these projects has had impacts such as increase in food security, job creation, growth in customers’ businesses and increased revenue,” she added.
Access Bank said with its steadfast commitment to sustainable agricultural business and strategic stakeholders’ partnerships, it has steered Nigeria and the African continent toward greater self-sufficiency in food production and global prominence.
It further noted that by strategically aligning its services with the evolving needs in the agricultural industry, Access Bank has enhanced its capacity to provide tailored financial solutions that address the unique challenges faced by farmers, agribusinesses and other stakeholders in the value chain with the value addition services, including provision of financial and advisory services, market linkages to support sales, capacity building with special focus on women and youth), stakeholders’ engagement, project monitoring and reporting, just to name a few.
Access Bank also assured its clients that its Agriculture desk would offer seamless and simplified process for accessibility of its services within two weeks.
Assessing these services, it said, would begin with, “being our customer, submit loan application and documentations such as feasibility report, acceptable credit checks and other others, then the loan request is reviewed, farm / factory / site inspection is done. If a customer meets all loan requirements, upon receipt of complete documentation and depending on the amount, the process takes between one to two weeks.
“Also, the loan tenor is aligned with project gestation period and customer cash flow and repayment plan allows monthly or quarterly repayment in line with the customer’s cashflow while our interest rate is highly competitive and in line with market realities.