• PNG Business News

CEFI Conducts Workshop on Agriculture

As a measure to partner with financial institutions, the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) recently conducted a workshop in agriculture lending and implementing the Market For Village Farmers Project.

In his opening remarks, CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe said, “One of the differences with this particular project is that we would like the banks to be equal partners in project implementation from the beginning, so you all will know what is happening and what each partner is doing and embrace the process of the project,” he said.

Ranasignhe highlighted other components such as technical service providers, digital financial services with addition to risk mitigation and product design, and encouraged financial institutions to share the view on agricultural lending.

“We would also like to introduce some risk mitigation so one option is that we have Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) to design a credit guarantee cooperation so we would have a special dedicated window for agriculture lending,” he continued. “If we all are to change agriculture in Papua New Guinea, you all should play a pivotal role and take the unwanted risk, but we will revise better means of mitigating the risk and take it forward and we are positive that this project will be a landmark from which we can definitely show to other agriculture projects how to work with banks.”

For his part, Manager-Banking Supervision-BPNG Sabina Deklin thanked the financial institutions for their commitment in bringing financial services to Papua New Guineans.

“The focus for financial inclusion has been the focus of the Central Bank for a number of years and this is ensuring in partnering with the financial institution that we take these financial services to the rural areas and CEFI is a creation of this and its one of its core mandates,” Deklin stated.

The workshop also featured presentations from the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Deputy Acting Secretary Regina Nukudj and Market For Village Farmers Project Manager Robert Lutulete; and Thierry Mahieux, an international consultant with International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), who talked about Digital Financial Services For Agriculture-Innovation in Agriculture Lending and Risk Mitigation via zoom.

The workshop was attended by financial institutions such as Bank South Pacific, People’s Microbank, Nasfund Contributors Savings and Loans and East New Britain Savings and Loans, and also representatives from the Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP) and World Bank.

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