Stanbic Bank and Kakira Sugar Works Limited (KSW) unveiled a Shs 100 million partnership on Tuesday, May 23 to support sugarcane outgrowers in the Busoga region.
The Stanbic Sugarcane Farmer Solutions is a deal designed to increase cane output to meet rising demand for sugar both locally and across East Africa.
Officials of the bank and the sugarcane industry are optimistic the deal will boost production capacity which will in turn create more jobs and other added benefits to the community in the sugarcane growing areas.
According to the 2022 statistics, Uganda is the largest producer of refined sugar in the East African Community, with annual production nationwide standing at 510,000 metric tonnes.
Of this, 360,000 metric tonnes are consumed locally and the remaining 150,000 metric tonnes made available for export.
Through the new deal, more than 7,000 small scale sugarcane out-growers in Busoga region will benefit from the Stanbic bank financing facility designed to help cover their expenses or expand acreage.
The farmers will access loans and financial literacy through the partnership.
“We have launched an exciting new deal for the sugarcane farming industry, at Kakira Sugar Limited. The deal is to help sugarcane players to exploit the existing opportunities to expand their businesses by providing a variety of personalised services and products to help them manage their finances as they start the journey towards accomplishing their dreams,” Stanbic Bank’s Mathias Jumba said during the launch event held in Jinja on Tuesday, May 23.
He explained the Sugarcane Farmer Solutions to the farmers in attendance, reiterating Stanbic Bank’s purpose. “Uganda is our home, we drive her growth. We have grown and ensured the growth of our customers as well.”
Addressing the problem raised by sugarcane farmers that they were being charged very high interest and extremely stringent payment terms from other places where they get money, Jumba stated that Stanbic’s Sugarcane Farmer Solutions will solve that because the Bank understands farmers and their different earning cycles.
He pledged that the Bank would not let its plans end on paper, but let the farmers feel the impact. Our Sugarcane Farmer Solutions are not just about providing money but also financial literacy to help farmers grow,” he stated.
Stanbic Bank also pledged to solve the problem of turnaround time for sugarcane farmers. “We understand that money is needed quickly to meet the season demands. Farmers will be able to get the money in a very short time after application,” Jumba said.
Busoga Kingdom’s minister for Foreign Affairs, Owekitibwa Joan Machora Kittio, advised the farmers who get impatient when prices drop and end up burning their sugarcane to restrain from the habit. “People should understand how to be adaptive to change and not give up.” This is the “It Can Be” spirit that we stand for,” Kittio stated.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Abubaker Ojwang Omboko stated that they are 10,000 sugarcane farmers under Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association (BSGA). He expressed excitement about the solutions that will be provided by Stanbic Bank,”
“It has always been our dream to partner with a financial institution which can drive us to our dreams. Stanbic Bank has all we need to help us reach our dreams and we are excited about these” he stated.