Saturday, April 13, 2024
Home > Agribusiness > Q&A: How dfcu Bank Is Taking The Lead In Bolstering Uganda’s Agricultural Value Chain
AgribusinessInterviews

Q&A: How dfcu Bank Is Taking The Lead In Bolstering Uganda’s Agricultural Value Chain

Patrice Ocungirwoth, Sector Head-Agriculture at dfcu Bank

This year, dfcu Bank marks 60 years of existence and offering financial solutions to its customers across Uganda. Over the years, the Bank has been at the forefront of providing creating products with the potential to drive the growth in investments for both individuals and businesses.

 The ability to build self-sustaining businesses is integral to the Bank. Unveiled last year, its new Strategy stands partly on what the Bank calls ‘Sectors’ – unique business units which will serve the unique needs of customers across various segments. Underpinning dfcu’s Sector Specialization are teams of industry experts whose knowledge and experience are critically important to the success of the Bank’s customers.

For another year, dfcu has been announced as one of the sponsors of the Harvest Money Expo. Patrice Ocungirwoth, Sector Head-Agriculture at dfcu Bank talks about how the Bank is bringing its purpose, ‘Transforming Lives and Businesses in Uganda’ to life across the country’s agricultural sector.

Q: Whom does dfcu serve across the agricultural value chain?

A: We serve the entire market in Uganda and some of the produce areas where our customers participate include coffee, livestock, grains, cereals, and oil seeds.

Our customers are input suppliers, processors, exporters, agricultural distributors, aggregators, traders, and agricultural distributors.

We deliberately support mechanization and value additional through financing agro-machinery and equipment from the light and simple to the more complex and high-tech agricultural assets.

Q: Agriculture stands at the helm of Uganda’s economy. How is dfcu contributing to its expansion and growth?

A: 68% of Uganda’s workforce (skilled and unskilled) is employed in the Agricultural sector.  Agriculture has the potential to provide food and nutrition, improve household incomes and supply raw materials for industries. We also have fertile soils that support multiple value chains.

The uniqueness of the sector; variation in activities, products, and characteristics of the commodities requires full and comprehensive understanding of the sector to provide tailor made solutions.  dfcu’s Agriculture Sector team is committed to providing solutions that are as varied as our customers’ needs.

Experience has taught us that customers benefit from a mix of solutions that support both their core focus and the rest of processes along their value chain.

Q: What are some of the products and services that dfcu has under its Agriculture Sector?

A: Annually, we review our services and products to ensure that they align with our customers’ needs. For instance, the dfcu Agric Production Loans are tailor-made for customers who engage in primary production, both crop or animal husbandry.

dfcu has designed agribusiness financing facilities and solutions for agriculturalists in specific niches such as perennial or annual crops, dairy, poultry, or beef – and this is available whether one is involved in distribution or purely production.

We also cater to registered groups and associations such as Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Agricultural SACCOs through our group financing and accounts for those entities.

For customers engaged in value addition and mechanization, we offer Asset Financing that is specific to their needs and technical demands.

Q: How effective are dfcu’s products and services for Ugandan agriculture practitioners?

A: Before designing a solution, we analyze and profile the various value chains and then map out the various stakeholders therein. For example, before financing a macadamia farmer, we have to understand the path flow of the commodity from start to finish and advise customer from a knowledgeable perspective.

We foster market linkages and risk mitigation partnerships so that our customers are cushioned against risks while our Agriculture Sector experts provide technical advice to clients based on science, facts, and our experience.

Q: Are dfcu’s Agricultural- support products available countrywide?

A: With over 50 branches and thousands of other delivery channels countrywide, we are able to widely extend our services.

We continue to extend even farther, to ensure that we cover several regions and sub-regions.

Q: dfcu is one of the sponsors of this year’s Harvest Money Expo – what can attendees hope to attain?

A: dfcu has established multiple partnerships over the years, both with local and International partners such as our Farm Pass partnership with Mastercard Harvest Money, Best Farmers Competition and many more.

During  the Harvest Money Expo, our customers can expect to receive knowledge based on specific needs such as scale of operation, types of financing, and how our financing will transform their lives and businesses.

Through our participation, we shall be able to reach several players in the agricultural ecosystem and business enterprises. This is also an opportunity to connect with our customers and get feedback on how we can serve the market better.

The Harvest Money EXPO will run from 23rd – 25th February 2024 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds under the theme “Farming as a business.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *