The Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) has obtained approval from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to allocate EGP 200m to continue the National Project for Fattening Veal Revival. This funding will be deducted from the bank’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) portfolio, according to Elsayed Elkosayer, chairman of the ABE.
ABE has embarked on this project in July 2017, in cooperation with the ministries of finance and agriculture. The state has since allocated EGP 300m for the project.
Elkosayer said that the bank has disbursed the first portion of the funding, worth EGP 100m, in August 2017, adding that the ABE was set to obtain EGP 200m in parts, but the funds were delayed by the Ministry of Finance. Hence, the bank resorted to the CBE to continue the project.
He noted that the CBE approved allocating EGP 200m from the ABE’s SMEs portfolio included in the CBE’s MSMEs funding initiative.
The funding ceiling is EGP 400,000 for young breeders and young graduates, and EGP 2m for companies.
On another note, the ABE is expected to sign a cooperation protocol with the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEs Development Agency) to fund women’s projects. The protocol is worth EGP 50m.
Elkosayer said that this will be the first project of its kind in the Egyptian banking sector, pointing out that women account for 30% of the bank’s small-scale loans.
The bank has recently launched the “Bint Misr” project to finance working women, especially in governorates of the Delta and Upper Egypt regions, in order to help women entrepreneurs with very favourable terms and conditions. The maximum funding amounts to EGP 10,000.
In a related context, the ABE had recently signed a cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Agriculture and the company “e-finance” to activate the electronic system of agricultural holdings known as the “farmer smart card.”
Elkosayer said that this project aims to provide a national database of all holdings of agricultural land, financial services, and support to farmers. It will also develop the method of control and management at different levels of work at the Ministry of Agriculture.
He added that the card system will be activated soon, noting that the first phase includes issuing about 2.5 million cards then 5 million cards in the second phase.
He added that the bank will distribute the card to farmers, adding it is expected to provide banking services through the same cards, which would include millions of farmers in the banking system and help the state achieve financial inclusion.