EU-STREIT rehabilitates rural roads to improve market access for 7000 farmers in Papua New Guinea
by PNG Business News - August 05, 2022
Progressing on improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including sustainable, climate-proof transport infrastructure development in Papua New Guinea, the EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme started with rehabilitation and specific maintenance of two farm-to-market access roads in the Sepik Region.
Led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), these two roads will support farming communities involved in cocoa, vanilla, and fisheries production to access further markets with more rewarding prices, and open up rural communities for agribusiness opportunities.
Two ground-breaking ceremonies were held to mark the start of work on two roads in East Sepik Province. The first ceremony was on 22 July for a 7.8 km Banak-Wautogik Road along the west coast of Wewak District that later followed with the start of a 12.8 km Balif-Araseli Road in the Ambunti-Drekikier District on 28 July.
These roads are part of 15 farm-to-market access roads totalling 264 km planned for rehabilitation and specific maintenance under the EU-STREIT Programme in rural Sepik, Papua New Guinea.
Straight after the unveiling of the project information board and ribbon cutting for the Banak-Wautogik road, local firm Hiawani Ltd who has been awarded the contract started with grading and clearing of the initial roads section. This road connects two Local Level Governments (LLGs), namely Boikin LLG and Dagua LLG, and will serve over 2000 rural farmers of six villages of Banak, Bogumatai, Kwangen, Walanduom, Wautogik and Kotai (inland).
It was a long-awaited moment for the villagers, particularly women who live at the backend of the road. “This is a happy moment for us. We get up very early in the morning, carry out loads and walk for more than four hours to the main highway to catch a PMV [Public Motor Vehicle] to town. We also carry our sick children and walk this road because vehicles cannot go in. Some mothers deliver their babies on the road,” said Joan Wapiake who reflected on the struggle’s mothers in the area face.
Former Ward Member of Walanduom and village elder Mr David Mangani added: “The provincial authorities said to come and fix our road, but it didn’t happen. Thank you, ILO and STREIT Programme and financiers, the European Union.”
Many farmers neglected their farming practices because the road was inaccessible for vehicles to receive services and transport their produce to market. On this note, Walanduom Ward Member Mr Tom Talis challenged his farmers to “use it to improve our cocoa, vanilla and fisheries activities to support our living.”
Speaking on behalf of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme, Mr Muhammad Atif Nasim, the International Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, said: “I have a request for you, because this is your road, you have to take care of it. It is not just another road; it is the key to your future. It will help you to change in 5 to 10 years’ time.”
The road will raise embankment, subgrade with compact gravelling, 27 permanent crossing structures, including two reinforced concrete box culverts and one reinforced concrete causeway, and side drains with traffic signs and signages for year-round serviceable.
To encourage equal participation, a stakeholders meeting was also organised with the communities for better common understanding of the project and intervention. Also present and was very appreciative of this intervention was the Executive Manager of East Sepik Provincial Division of Works and Technical Services and Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi. “On behalf of the Governor and Provincial Administrator, I want to say thank you to the EU-STREIT PNG Programme and ILO as the implementer to recognise this road which will benefit many inland communities.”
The second project, the Balif-Araseli Road will provide access to market for more than 5000 farmers of 9 villages, 4 Wards and 1 LLG in Ambunti-Drekikier District. Midway Pacific Ltd is the contractor for this road rehabilitation and specific maintenance project that will also serve existing public facilities in the area like schools, aid posts and health centres as well as opening up agribusiness opportunities for the rural communities.
This 12-months project will also create decent job opportunities for the rural communities.
Chief Technical Advisor of ILO EU-STREIT PNG, Mr Shailendra Kumar Jha, in his speech during the Balif-Araseli Road ground-breaking ceremony, assured the villagers that there will be ongoing monitoring by ILO engineers to ensure delivery of quality road on time. He also urged the community to take ownership and support road rehabilitation and specific maintenance projects.
Under the road transport infrastructure component of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme, the road rehabilitation/specific maintenance project will support market access for rural farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to the three targeted value chains of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries for an improved income and cash flow for the rural sector.
The EU-STREIT PNG, is implemented as a UN joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners). It is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. The Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Article courtesy of EU Streit
PNG Business News - June 29, 2022
Supporting farmers with tools and materials to produce quality cocoa and vanilla in Papua New Guinea
In a bid to enable farmers to put into practice skills acquired during capacity-building trainings, the EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme has started distributing tools and materials that will enable rural communities to improve their husbandry practices in cocoa and vanilla blocks. This intervention which started in May has so far distributed to 52 cocoa farmer groups in East Sepik Province and 38 cocoa farmer groups in Sandaun Province with 900,000 polybags, 90 shade cloths, 180 telescopic pole pruners, 90 measuring tape and 90 boxes of budding tape. These inputs will help the farmers to rehabilitate their blocks to improve the production of high-quality cocoa beans for an increased income to support their livelihood and families. These groups all have already received tailored training on cocoa bud grafting and block management organised by the Programme in collaboration with PNG Cocoa Board and Department of Agriculture and Livestock officers in the districts and LLGs . The skills acquired during these trainings assist the farmers to enhance their cultivation, farm management and harvesting practices. The 90 registered cocoa groups of over 45,000 farmers have started propagation of cocoa bod borer (CPB) tolerant seedlings in their respective nurseries. The Programme will continue to support them, whereby each group will have their seedlings purchased and distributed to their respective members or farmers including youths and women for free. “I want to say thank you to STREIT PNG and the financiers of this Programme the European Union. The trainings we attended, we will now put into practice using these tools and materials,” said Mrs Maureen Mombi, whom with her husband Ben are organizing and supporting three farmer groups of 1500 members from Mushu Island, Hambraure Village (Wewak District) and Hambini Village (Ambunti-Drekikier District). For the vanilla value chain, the Programme has distributed 120 sets of vanilla cultivation, husbandry and processing tools including shovels/spade, gumboots, pruning baskets, harvesting knife, cooking pot, cooler box, strainer, thick clot, digital thermometer, kraft/wax paper, plastic canvas, and cardboard box to the farmers in 11 villages of Wewak District and 4 villages of Aitape/Lumi District. 6 Vanilla vines treatment shed with a 10,000 vines capacity has been established. The vanilla kits and sheds in total so far is supporting more than 4000 men, women and youths in rural Sepik. “The transfer of knowledge and skills to farmers and their families is an important extension activity that must be supported with tools and materials. Under the Programme we distributing these items as well with new technology to improve their practice,” explained Programme Coordinator Dr Xuebing Sun. “Tools and materials are vital link in adoption of technologies for sustainable farming systems which is being encouraged under the Programme,” added Dr Sun. Among the recipients were 1000 plus farmers from four remote communities of inland Turubu area in Wewak District, East Sepik Province. On behalf of youths and women in the village who will also benefit from this intervention, Brigitte Kamiresa, a mother at Mundangai Village, said: “I want to thank European Union. We mothers didn’t attend big schools so our youths or kids will help train us to use these tools and materials to improve our practices.” The national technical officers of cocoa and vanilla value chain have also explained on the local radios the distribution of tools and materials for farmer groups/clusters that have already been formalised and are supported under the rural agriculture development programme. “If you have transport, please come to the office at Wharf Road. For those in hard-to-reach areas, we will come to you,” said Mr Michael Lames, National Cocoa Value Chain Officer. The distribution of quality inputs by the Programme will continue to cover other farmer groups in the Programme’s implementation sites in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. The EU-STREIT PNG, as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. Being implemented in close cooperation with the National and provincial government institutions, research entities, civil society organizations, and private sector enterprises, the Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
PNG Business News - July 06, 2022
Contracts signed for rehabilitation and specific maintenance of first 4 roads in EU-STREIT PNG
To create an enabling environment including farm-to-market roads to support cocoa, vanilla and fisheries farmers in the Greater Sepik Region, the ILO under EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, has recently engaged three local contractors to commence rehabilitation and specific maintenance of four farm-to-market access roads totalling 52.1 km in the Sepik Region of Papua New Guinea. The ILO signed the contracts with three local firms last week. The contracted firms are Hiawani Limited for the rehabilitation of 7.8 km Banak-Wautogik road in Wewak District, Midway Pacific Ltd for the Specific Maintenance of 12.8 km Balif-Araseli road in Maprik District, and Kaystar Construction Ltd for two (2) roads; Rehabilitation of a 6.5 km Munji-Haripmo road in Yangoru-Saussia District, and Specific Maintenance of 25 km Pasi-Krisa road in Vanimo-Green District, Sandaun Province. These roads were selected based on high production of vanilla, cocoa and fisheries in the areas that are supported under the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. The contract duration of these specific lots and packages are 12 months and the contractors have been given two weeks to mobilise their resources including machineries to commence road works by 15 July 2022. The ILO Engineer will conduct regular supervision, monitoring and monthly meetings to discuss work progress, challenges and way forward. “We will not only monitor, we will be satisfied to support you by providing technical training to the key personnel of the contractors for continuous capacity development and quality assurance of sub-projects,” explained Mr Shailendra Kumar Jha, ILO’s Infrastructure Specialist/Chief Technical Advisor under the EU-STREIT PNG. “Given the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which has put a strain on the progress, I’m pleased to announce that this is a milestone achievement for the road transport infrastructure component to ensure we assist the government in its efforts to bring markets closer to the unreached in our focus areas,” said Dr Xuebing Sun, EU-STREIT PNG Programme Coordinator. The contractors were selected through the competitive bidding process using e-portal of United Nation Global Market Place (UNGM) to ensure principle of sustainable procurement of ILO. This is a totally new practice in the case of PNG where local contractors were trained on e-bidding and successfully submitted their bids using UNGM and ILO electronic Tendering System (eTS). As part of EU-STREIT PNG’s mandate to support capacity development, all contractors including their personnel will undergo training in technical areas like contract management and administration, Supervision, Quality Assurance and Quality Control, Material Testing and Laboratory Practice, environmental and social safeguards, occupational safety and health at construction site, and modern survey techniques using GIS (geographic information system) and Total Station. This is to ensure delivery of quality road transport works for EU-STREIT Programme in the Sepik Region while also fulfil PNG government’s requirement to develop professional contractors in the country. The contractors were excited and looking forward to complete sub-projects within allocated time frame of 12 months. Mr David Bannah of Midway Pacific Ltd said: “We’re very fortunate because we’re learning a lot of new things here, especially the UN ILO procurement process through e-bidding. As a local contractor I’m so proud to be associated with the Programme.” Mr Pious Hiawani of Hiawani Ltd added: “We know the ILO team will help us to become better contractors and many rural people will benefit here so I like to thank European Union (EU)-the donor agency and ILO under the STREIT Programme.” Under road transport infrastructure component led by ILO, 15 rural roads in the Sepik totalling 264kms in length will be rehabilitated to support the market access initiative implemented by the EU-STREIT PNG for rural farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to the three targeted value chains for an improved income and cash flow for the rural sector. The roads will also support other agricultural, business, social and community activities and facilities like schools, aid posts and health centres that are in dire need of better accessible roads. The EU-STREIT PNG, as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. Being implemented in close cooperation with the National and provincial government institutions, research entities, civil society organizations, and private sector enterprises, the Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
PNG Business News - July 11, 2022
Installation of solar power to support rural communities in Papua New Guinea
EU-STREIT PNG preparing to install micro grid solar panels in selected public facilities to support cocoa, vanilla and fisheries entrepreneurs as well as livelihoods of rural communities. To create an enabling environment for cocoa, vanilla and fisheries entrepreneurs and to generate real possibility for economic growth that will enhance the livelihoods of rural communities, the UNDP under the EU-Funded Joint UN STREIT PNG Programme, is closing in on preparatory works with stakeholders to install solar generated clean and renewable electrical energy in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. In a one-day workshop organised by the Programme in Wewak, East Sepik Province, on Thursday 23 June, participating stakeholders from Division of Education, Sepik Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Mission, Division of Health and Catholic Health Service came together to discuss and gauge feedback from beneficiaries on the installation of micro grid solar systems in six identified facilities. The selected recipients in East Sepik Province are Taul Community Health Post in Turubu area of Wewak District, Nagum Adventist Secondary in Yangoru-Saussia District and the Catholic Health Service-run Dagua Community Health Centre along west coast highway in Wewak District. The beneficiaries in Sandaun Province are all located in Vanimo-Green District namely Don Bosco Technical School, Vanimo Secondary and Baro Community Health Post. These education and health facilities are located in areas with limited or no access to grid-connected electricity. Opening the workshop was Head of FAO Country Office in Papua New Guinea Mr Bir Mandal who was visiting Wewak to support the programme to expedite the programme implementation and enhancing partnerships with East Sepik Provincial Government. Mr Mandal draw attention to the global scenario on energy access and what this means for the Greater Sepik Region and PNG. “A third of the 2.6 billion people in the world still do not have access to safe, clean fuels and technologies for cooking or heating their homes, at significant health, social and environmental costs. In PNG, only 15% of the total population of about 8 million have access to grid connected electricity.” He added: “For change to occur, we need to reset our energy systems and put people into the centre – ensuring that these systems are cleaner, more secure, more resilient, and totally inclusive.” “Under the Programme, we’re working together with relevant Government of PNG (GoPNG) agencies at the national level and our target provinces to ensure communities in the agri-value chain get connected to electricity via renewable energy sources. This initiative will contribute to the GoPNG’s energy access target as outlined in the Medium-Term Development Plan III and various development plans, policy frameworks and regulatory instruments,” said Mr Mandal. Despite the disruption in the global supply chain by the Pandemic which has put a strain on the progress of this effort, UNDP’s Project Manager, Ms Karen Anawe, said, “I’m pleased to announce that preparatory works are now underway to ensure we assist the government to close the energy access gap by promoting clean energy and a transition towards a low carbon economy in our focus areas.” Ms Anawe said the meeting also discussed sustainability and ownership arrangements of these micro grid solar systems. For the recipients, unreliable electricity supply has been an ongoing dilemma for years, hence the support will give confidence as well as strengthening their operations to service better the rural people. “Nagum Secondary is a recipient of this support and I like to say thank you to the European Union as financiers of this impact project, not only for the school, but for the community at large. We’re glad that the solar project in the future will gather for students from the Sepik provinces, and also from Madang and Morobe,” said Mr Jeffrey Saigomi, Secretary for Sepik SDA Mission. For Dagua Community Health Centre, serving sick patients after hours or in the night has been an concern for some years because of no proper lighting. “This is a big help to us, especially for the people living along west coast including Dagua LLG. The solar power will provide sufficient lights for sick patients in our wards. It will also help with some emergencies we conduct after hours and in the night like attending to deliveries and injuries from road accidents mainly,” said Mr Ignatius Burr, Health Extension Officer. The rural health facility services some 100,000 plus rural population of Dagua LLG including those from Boikin LLG. Despite being handicapped in its operations, the facility is known for being the first to attend to some very serious road accident injuries along the west coast highway before referrals are made to Boram General Hospital in Wewak Town. A feasibility assessment for renewable energy power was conducted in early 2021 for the region, and six facilities were identified for solar energy installation. The UNDP under the EU-STREIT PNG Programme supports development and improvement of renewable energy to create an enabling environment that will embrace development of the three targeted value chains which thousands of rural communities in the Sepik Region depend on to sustain their livelihoods. The EU-STREIT PNG, as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. Being implemented in close cooperation with the National and provincial government institutions, research entities, civil society organizations, and private sector enterprises, the Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022
Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.