Agrobank, Petronas collaborate to empower B40 in agriculture industry

Petronas will provide an investment worth RM100m to support current and new Agrobank micro financing programmes nationwide

By TMR / Pic By RAZAK GHAZALI

AGROBANK and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) recently signed an agreement to work together on a micro-financing programme to empower the bottom 40% (B40) income group working in the agricultural and agro-based industry.

Under this collaboration, Petronas will provide an investment worth RM100 million to support current and new Agrobank micro-financing programmes nationwide with main focus on B40 entrepreneurs.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub commended both parties for their strong commitment to provide more opportunities for B40 group to uplift their socio-economic status.

“Collaboration such as this is a good example of how caring corporates can support a national agenda and the aspirations of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030,” the minister said in a statement.

“This collaboration also fits in with the new directions set by Ministry of Agriculture and Agrobased Industry (MoA) last year under the new ‘MoA Priorities and Strategies 2019-2020’, which focuses on strengthening our food security, rural economic development and private investments in agriculture sector.

“In the five-point plan, the participation and investment from private entities are essential towards modernising the agriculture sector and encouraging youth participation,” he added.

Salahuddin also emphasised that agriculture is an important lever to be reached out effectively in uplifting the B40 groups.

Agrobank’s covering president/ CEO Khadijah Iskandar said the RM100 million financing investment allocated by Petronas will be disbursed over five years and managed under Agrobank’s B40 micro-financing facilities programmes.

At present, Agrobank has over 11 microfinance programmes nationwide covering paddy cultivation, chilli fertigation, oil palm, dairy cows, pineapple and swallow bird, among others.

“As the bank specialises in agriculture financing, Agrobank is committed to empower the B40 group through structured microfinancing programmes with focus on 3A objectives — accessibility, availability and affordability.

We are honoured to work with Petronas and hope that more caring corporates would provide similar investment for B40 groups,” said Khadijah.

Under the programme, the financing would be given up to 100% with preferential profit rate of 2% per annum.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age and registered under approved Agrobank contract financing programmes through an “anchor” company. Having an anchor company will help participants have strong technical guidance and support as they venture their agribusiness at micro level.

“Through this programme, the agropreneur may apply a total financing of up to RM300,000 with the financing facility of up to five years or 60 months,” Khadijah added.