THE Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) has disbursed more than K9.1 million to farmers under the Loan a Cow scheme.
Bank head of corporate affairs Joy Sata said a total of 564 cows had been bought under the product and had been given to 162 farmers.
Ms Sata said the scheme has had an overall positive contribution to the growth of the dairy sector through increased production capacity for farmers.
She was speaking at the just ended 90th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show which was held under the theme: ‘‘Managing the environment for growth” in Lusaka at the weekend.
“Currently, in excess of K9.1 million have been disbursed under the product and a total of 564 cows have so far been bought under the product and availed to 162 farmers,” she said.
She said the programme had equally been training farmers in various skills through the Financial Fitness Training programme of the bank.
Ms Sata said this had led farmers to start making better business decisions and contributing positively to the dairy sector.
She said the animals bought under this product were pure breeds with high production levels as compared to indigenous cows.
“I am happy to say that now through the Loan a Cow product farmers have access to financing for the acquisition of dairy animals.
‘‘This has also improved the livelihood of the beneficiary farmers by increasing their income generation base,” she said.
She said the Loan a Cow product had also helped secure the market for their produce through the requirement of off-taker contracts to the processing plants such as Varun Food and Beverages.
Ms Sata noted that farmers who under normal circumstances would not qualify to access finance due to lack of title could now do so as primary security under this product was the purchased animals.