The Kulima Access to Finance Project is implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the European Commission’s Africa Investment Platform to improve access to suitable finance in Malawi, mainly to small and medium-sized businesses active along the agriculture value chain.

Through access to affordable, longer-term financing, as well as capacity-building and training, the project will enable small and medium-sized agri-food businesses to integrate smallholder farmers into Malawi’s agrifood value chains. Financial intermediaries in Malawi participating in the project will also be able to reach out to underserved segments of the economy.

Agricultural companies across Malawi will be able to access loans with maturities of up to 7 years, longer than commonly available in the market. It is expected that the companies receiving this financing will expand, upgrade and modernize their equipment, and thrive as a result.

In this way, the project aims to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth and employment in Malawi’s agriculture sector.

In December 2020, the EIB signed a €12.5m loan with Ecobank Malawi, which will be complemented by EU grant financing and technical assistance, to support SMEs in the agri-food sector. This means that agri-food businesses in Malawi can get technical support and financing for their investments, and thereby contribute to the integration of smallholder farmers into local value chains.

The EIB is working with the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management to provide capacity-building and training to partner banks and agrifood companies in Malawi, for example:

For financial intermediaries:

  • Training in Agriculture and Agri-business lending
  • Support in agricultural and agri-business sector operations (e.g. strategy, policies procedures and the lending methodology, and automated credit scoring)
  • Market research and product development for the agricultural and agri-business sectors (e.g. gender-inclusive products and services)
  • Support in setting up value chain financing schemes
  • Support to introduce digital solutions to the appraisal and delivery processes and to enhance credit history
  • Business Process Reengineering (BPR) to create a lean and efficient lending process

For agri-businesses:

  • Financial Literacy Training
  • Advanced Agribusiness Techniques Workshops for Agricultural SMEs and Mid-Caps

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Contact details

Filipe Marques
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Mobile: +258 843983267 (WA)
Mobile: +265 996632482