The Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) is studying the signing of a contract with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) worth EGP 250m to finance small entrepreneurs, especially those working in livestock, according to the bank’s chairperson Elsayed Elkosayer.
Elkosayer told Daily News Egypt that the bank is still in negotiations with the agency and expects to sign the contract after Eid al-Adha.
In a related context, last Wednesday the bank signed a cooperation protocol with the New Valley governorate, Misr El Kheir Foundation and Tahya Misr Fund to establish the first model village for animal and agricultural production, the first of its kind in the governorate.
The village includes 150 families, with the aim of providing employment opportunities for young people and girls, enabling them to own and manage projects. The village is located on an area of 150 feddans. Each family will be given a one-feddan home with a garden and some palm plantations and a breeding and fattening place for calves and cattle heads.
According to Elkosayer, the bank’s participation in this project confirms the role played by the ABE in achieving agricultural and rural development, in accordance with the text of Article II of the Bank Act No. 84 of 2016. This emphasises that the issuance of the law of the bank and its subordination to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) does not mean it is still not dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture and the service of the Egyptian farmer.
He explained that the role of the bank will be to contribute to financing part of the requirements and needs of the project related to the needs of plant production, financing the animal and poultry production and financing the purchase of machinery and equipment necessary for them.
Elkosayer pointed out that the agricultural company owned by the bank, which represents its commercial farmers, will be directed to open marketing outlets in this area to provide fertilisers, seeds, and equipment to the owners of these projects.
“Beneficiaries of the project can benefit from the financing provided under the initiative of the CBE to finance small and medium enterprises and finance the agricultural and animal wealth sectors, if the conditions are available to them,” according to Elkosayer.
For his part, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Abdel Moneim El Banna pointed out that the signing of the protocol comes within the framework of the directives of the President to develop Egyptian villages. The project aims to provide employment opportunities for young people and girls by enabling them to own and manage projects, expansion of strategic crops, especially wheat, and the establishment of animal and poultry production projects.
According to Mohamed Zamlout, the governor of the New Valley, the protocol aims to promote the village and create employment and agricultural investment.
Mohsen Mahgoub, the treasurer of Misr Al-Khair Foundation, stressed the importance of cooperation between the banking sector and the community and media institutions to achieve the desired development.
“The fruitful cooperation with the ABE and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) contributed to the achievement of the foundation’s objectives, creating employment opportunities for young people and reclaiming and cultivating the lands, which promises high-quality results in the near future.
According to Elkosayer, this protocol is the second between the ABE and Misr Al-Khair Foundation, and comes within the agreements held by the bank in order to emphasize its key role in achieving sustainable development, balanced and protective.
For his part, Mohammed Ashmawy, the CEO of Tahya Misr Fund, said that they are keen to participate and contribute to youth empowerment projects, especially in the most needed places such as refrigerated car projects, which give young people a distinctive job and contribute to the arrival of products to places most in need at a reasonable price.