Syngenta and Bank Asia introduce first-ever digital fintech solution for smallholders in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, around 65% of farmers lack access to funding from conventional banks. To better support our farmers, Syngenta Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bank Asia Limited on October 13, 2021 to offer a viable option for financial assistance. The program marries Syngenta’s reputation as a trusted partner for agronomic support and Bank Asia’s vision to make Bangladesh poverty free and is the first of its kind in the country.
Under this agreement, Bank Asia will provide loans of up to $600 USD to Syngenta’s farmers and farmers will have 180 days to repay the loan. Bank Asia representatives will also offer farmers guidance on basic loan risk factors and advice on how they can use the funds.
The program is a step forward in helping farmers achieve financial freedom – starting with access to collateral-free funds with reasonable interest rates to give farmers the ability to buy quality agronomic input on credit, reap better harvests and draw greater earnings for a higher standard of living. As of November 2021, over 4000 farmers have opened an account with Bank Asia under the program and it is expected to reach 100,000 farmers across the country by 2024.
Syngenta is a market leader in Bangladesh and has the capacity and responsibility to empower farmers in their farming journey with end-to-end service. The Bangladesh team has also extended the following services to farmers in the country:
· Crop insurance with the purchase of any Syngenta product through our retail outlets.
· Tele-medicine consulting for 30,000 of Syngenta’s associated farmers, which they can access via Syngenta’s retail outlets.
· Partnered with Joikko – a social enterprise that has centers around the country which serve as one-stop shops for farmers to find a community and receive help from other farmers and volunteers.
Syngenta is on a journey to create more value for farming communities and will invest the necessary resources to develop a strong network of partners that can offer a comprehensive value chain solution to safeguard food security for Bangladesh and beyond.