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Tamweely Microfinance, USAID collaborate on offering loans to smallholder farmers - Daily News Egypt

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Tamweely Microfinance, USAID collaborate on offering loans to smallholder farmers

Loans are aimed at smallholder farmers growing horticultural crops

Tamweely Microfinance has signed a cooperation agreement with the Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project, a USAID-funded activity.

Through this partnership, Tamweely will begin offering financial loans for horticultural crops specifically designed to meet the needs of smallholder farmers. This is designed ultimately to increase the income of smallholder farmers and processors, as well as creating job opportunities for women and youth.

The Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project aims to strengthen Egypt’s horticulture market system and improve the capacity of smallholder farmers and processors.

It also aims to improve the capacity of producer organisations and horticultural institutions, through agricultural knowledge transfer and trainings. Put together, these will familiarise farmers with higher-value production of horticulture crops.

Improvements to the value chain will raise employment and incomes for vulnerable Egyptians, and enhance food security throughout the country.

Amr Abou El Azm, Chairman of Tamweely Microfinance, expressed his confidence in this new partnership.

“Tamweely is proudly enriching its product portfolio by designing and offering new financial loans for horticultural crops targeting smallholder farmers in Upper Egypt and Delta,” he said, “Therefore, we are pleased to partner with the USAID-funded project, which will support us in acquiring an in-depth understanding of the needs of smallholder farmers and mitigating risk associated with credit products.”

Abou El Azm added, “This partnership is in line with the company’s strategy of product diversification to meet the needs of the different targeted segments, increase product effectiveness, and be more flexible in meeting client needs.”

Ahmed Khorched, CEO and Managing Director of Tamweely, said, “With the objective of expanding access to finance and financial inclusion, this partnership takes Tamweely one step further by targeting the agricultural sector and smallholder farmers.”

“By working with the USAID-funded project, we will be able to develop new financial loans for horticultural crops for smallholder farmers which will generate positive changes in their income and ultimately have wider impacts on their economic well-being,” he added, “The pilot phase will target 1,000, and will provide them with financial loans for horticultural crops to invest in their agriculture business to increase their productivity and competitiveness.”

Walid Sallam, Chief of Party for the Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project, praised Tamweely’s efforts, saying, “We are confident that Tamweely comes bearing abundant expertise that enables it to act as an integral partner in development with the Project.”

He added that the partnership is expected to show results in developing and financing modern irrigation systems, building post-harvest operation centres, and establishing small and medium-size service facilities that cater to the food processing sector in Egypt.

Sallam said that the project would provide technical support to Tamweely in the form of institutional building activities for a number of company employees. This would focus on designing and implementing agricultural lending products related to the target crops.

It comes in line with the capabilities and needs of the Project’s targeted farmers with the least potential credit risk.

Alaaeldin Baioumi, the Project’s Senior Access to Finance Specialist, said, “The new financial products for horticultural crops focusing on harvesting and post-harvest handling purposes will require additional workforce providing job and income earning opportunities for labourers.”

Baioumi also said that about 25% of the loans to smallholder farmers will be targeted towards women and youth.

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