The Parliamentary committee on budget and finance has approved a 50 year long term loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) which is said to boost agricultural projects in the country.
Confirming the development in Lilongwe on August 17 2023, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe expressed gratitude saying this will help in uplifting the economic status of vulnerable people including small scale farmers.
Gwengwe said; “This time around they are adding about 30 million to their portfolio, and it’s a loan that will attract 0.1% interest rate, which is almost free money as you know interest rate are hovering even internationally it’s about 10% and locally more than 25%, so to get a loan at 0.1% really is just by name that we call it a loan”.
The minister also highlighted that this will cater to the challenges of importing other necessities, since forex shortage has been a greater challenge the country has been suffering for a couple of years.
“Our survival as a country for the past one or two years in terms of importing critical supplies whether be it fertilizers, fuel or pharmaceuticals needs forex and we’ve over relied on project financing, to be able to find sort of forex we need to be buying fuel for our moter vehicles”, added Gwengwe.
The loan which has a 50 year repayment period has the first ten years of grace, and is expected to deal with forex shortage and lack of agricultural markets for small scale farmers, more especially those from rural areas.
Reported by Brenda Pensulo