MULIMI has partnered with Zanaco, Life Insurance and Financial Sector Development Zambia (FSD Zambia) to bridge the gender gap in financing scenarios for Zambian women in the agricultural sector.
Speaking during the Event at Lusaka’s Latitude 15 Hotel, MULIMI proprietor Zindaba Hanzala Zulu said it is important for stakeholders to look a the issue of accessing finance which is a big challenge for women.
‘’The biggest challenge in accessing finances has been the need for husbands to cosign for one to get a loan even when they are not part of the business. If they don’t sign then one can’t access financing.
Speaking on the event, Ms Hanzala said the turnout was encouraging and urged women to join in the cause to ensure that the gender gap looming in the agriculture sector to closed.
“I am very excited as the objectives of this event have totally been covered and it will add more value if we see the products and services that we are trying to get out there in terms of agro Finances and agro Insurance in the market,” said Ms Hanzala.
She said despite the challenge of getting other people in the Agri Finance and Agri Insurance sector to jump on board the overall response has been good.
And Bank of Zambia Manager Financial Sector Development Kabinda Kawesha said that gender has now been integrated in the Bank’s policy and strategic plans to help financial institutions understand the role of women in agro businesses.
“In our policies and strategic plans, we are rolling out tools where we are trying to help financial institutions to have a self-check on how they provide finances and other financial services to male and female operated enterprise.
“Moreover, we have a tool in place that is intended to help financial institutions understand who the customers are and that companies can be owned and operated by men and women therefore there are differences in how they will be operated. So, in a case a female is running a business alone they should not impose for the spouse to be a signatory for them to get a loan,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sylvia Food Solutions was delighted to be an exhibitor at the event as it made room for them to promote their products and also showcase some of Zambia’s indigenous products they had on sale such as dry chibwabwa (pumpkin leaves),Tindi Ngoma (Corchorus tridens ) and kachesha (cow pea leaves) among others.