Unity Bank Plc has reiterated its commitment to lending more to farmers and supporting them in getting more value for their farm produce.
The bank is partnering with Binkabi, a blockchain-based commodity trading network to ensure that farmers get the right pricing and profitability for their produce.
The Head, Risk Management and Compliance, Unity Bank, Usman Abdulqadir, said the collaboration would also help to provide end-to-end solutions for farmers and the entire agribusiness value-chain.
Abdulqadir, who spoke at the launch of an agro commodities trade platform in Lagos, said, many farmers who harvest their crops sell them at the time of harvest when the prices are still low. But the partnership will help such farmers to transfer the produce to warehouse directly, or sell them to people that will send the produce to the storage facilities to reduce post-harvest losses.
“By way of strategy, we look at the various value chains across the agric sector, and why some banks prefer to concentrate on certain types of customers – the very big ones with little or no risk exposure, we lend across the entire value chain.
“What we are doing today is just to integrate all the various components of the value chain into one single entity to have an integrated approach to funding the agric sector. We have a huge portfolio of primary production; as we speak today, about 40 per cent of our entire loan portfolio is in one aspect of agriculture or the other. We are the leading bank in funding primary production; we are also deepening agriculture mechanisation.”
The Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Binkabi, Manrui Tang, said the platform would help to address the issues associated with lending to the agricultural sector.
“We are a platform for issuing trading and financing commodities on blockchain. We connect with banks, warehouses, commodity exchanges, logistics companies and farmers, aggregators and all parties in the supply chain,” she said.