BY RITA PEKI
MiBank in Mt Hagen has launched an agricultural loan product allowing farmers to obtain loans to develop their agricultural activities.
The launch of the loan scheme under the Market for Village Farmers (MVF) project took place outside the MiBank branch in Mt Hagen on Tuesday.
MiBank Chief Credit Officer Wayne Honeyselt said the project aims to facilitate access for farming households and other value chain actors to affordable and diversified financial services, including basic credit services, savings, insurance and funds transfer through innovative and digital distribution channels.
“The objective of the project is to improve the livelihoods of village farming households in selected provinces by facilitating the transition from semi-subsistence agriculture to market-oriented production and commercial agriculture,” said said Mr. Honeyselt.
“At MiBank, we recognize that village farmers should have adequate access to credit to enable them to play a more active role in economic development. We are therefore prepared to consider providing loan facilities to farmers who would not normally be able to provide collateral of the type or amount that financial institutions would otherwise require.
“We are delighted to launch this farmer loan product in Mt Hagen Western Highlands, a province well known for the quality of its fresh produce.
He said the loan product will be made available at their 16 branches nationwide, however, the focus will be on the Western Highlands and other select provinces that are considered part of the food bowl in PNG. .
Mr Honeyselt said the MiBank farmer loan will allow farmers to access finance based on their track record of selling crops to local produce buyers.
“We are convinced that this access to credit will enable farmers to increase crop yields and quality through the purchase of seeds, fertilizers, solar equipment, machinery, water tanks, etc. , so the result will be better financial gains, improved living standards, and financial independence,” he said.