Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rwanda Agricultural Show...

Germaine and I received the trophy at UOB devotion
Rwanda's government to govern the agriculture and annimal husbandry is MINAGRI. MINAGRI holds the Rwanda Agricultural Show annually. Many stakeholders participate in the show with their products and services.

Most of them are agricultural producers and traders. Rwanda's main export items among agricultural products remain coffee and tea. But Rwandan government has designated other crops as strategic items to promote, including wheat, rice, maize, beans and horticulture.

Among the participants are financial institutions that provide loans and/or insurance to the farmers. UOB was one of seven banks that participated in the Agriculture Show in 2013 that took place in June. UOB has been providing production financing for maize, rice and Irish potatoes for the past three years.

Agricultural Financing is a risk business. For the sole purpose of the bank business, I wish we did not have to. But it would be inappropriate that a micro finance bank with a strong transformation mission would neglect the 90% of the population which are directly or indirectly related to agriculture. There are far too many risks that may not be mitigated properly, yet agricultural financing does not even produce a return that is corresponding to the risks being taken. Thus, it takes a focused mission and creative ways to mitigate the risks to the level that justifies a low return.
UOB's Booth
UOB financed 1,400 farmers in 2011, 4,500 in 2012 and aims to provide financing for 8,000 farmers in 2013. It is an ambitious goal, but Lord's willing, we will.

UOB was selected for two years in a row as one of two financial institutions that are considered to be participating in the agricultural sector with excellence. The Agricultural Finance Manager, Seguro Espoir, received it and delivered it to the bank management. I had the privilege of receiving it and surrendering it to the honor of God who has enabled us to do and to all staff who has been at the center of all the work that has been done. Praise the Lord! - Jeffrey

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