Bank Alfalah and Engro Fertilizers signed an agreement as part of the Agri value Chain Financing Program for the current Kharif Season. The Seasonal Facility will be available for the growers registered with Engro Fertilizers in the Project “Rahbar” and will benefit the farmers of selected districts of Sindh and Punjab. Nauman Ansari, President & CEO Bank Alfalah, and Ruhail Mohammed, CEO, Engro Fertilizers Ltd. signed this strategic partnership.
The project will provide farmers with an end to end solution to mostly belonging to subsistence and economic levels holding. The unique business model will allow for Farm Advisory, timely supply of quality inputs, crop monitoring, farm support, market linkages and access to affordable formal finance. The program includes branchless banking services and clean lending facilities. The Technological and Financial Interventions are aimed at enhanced productivity with post-harvest marketing support and financial inclusion of the unbanked rural populations.
The ceremony was held in Karachi and attended by senior management of both of the organizations. Speaking on the occasion, Nauman Ansari said, ‘This is the first step of a unique private sector partnership that will go a long way in providing the fruits of subsistence to the Pakistani farmer. Bank Alfalah is dedicated to helping our agrarian sector combat the challenges of seasonal financing, and this is why we have partnered with Engro to help start this change. This strategic partnership between Bank Alfalah and Engro Fertilizers will go a long way in building value preposition for the Agri Sector. “Rahbar” is a successful pilot program which has penetrated well and we intend to capitalize this further through other commodities.’
Ruhail Muhammad, CEO Engro Fertilizers, also spoke about the collaboration, saying, ‘We are passionate about transforming the agricultural landscape of Pakistan and helping our farmers grow, and towards this end, the obsolete farming techniques and low yields of agricultural produce prevalent in Pakistan were an opportunity worth exploring. Agriculture sector contributes more that 21% to GDP, and improving yields by even small increments can have enormous effect on the lives and livelihoods of our farmers. We aim to leverage the Engro brand and provide Agribusiness Advisory Services to local farmers by implementing an end-to-end closed loop solution, from sowing to selling of produce with timed interventions at different stages of the crop cycle. We believe this project will help improve our farmer’s yield and will provide cascading benefits to the economy of the country. We appreciate Bank Alfalah’s lead in providing financing to the farmers in our program. Such structured financing, as compared to the informal financing currently available to our farmers, will allow farmers to reduce their input cost and improve their returns. This should encourage other financial institutions to provide similar financing to farmers and grow the agri-lending space.’