by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / pic source: Agrobank FB
AGROBANK welcomes the mandate and responsibility placed by the government through the NewBiz Recovery Financing Programme to revive the nation’s agricultural and agro-food industry while assisting Malaysians in facing the current economic challenges.
In a statement, Agrobank president and CEO Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah Raja Hussin stated that the programme in question is one of Agrobank’s ongoing initiatives, in playing its role as a development finance institution in the agricultural sector, to fulfil its responsibilities beyond banking.
He stated that the programme is different from other financing programmes and that it is developed specifically to help Malaysians who are affected by the current economic situation and challenges, such as job loss, graduates who are still unemployed, self-employed individuals, those who want to increase their household income and housewives, as well as single mothers.
“It offers various facilities that can help marginalised communities such as asnaf, in addition to supporting individuals who do not have a job but are always looking for new opportunities to generate income and at the same time improve the socio-economic status of themselves and their families.
“The NewBiz Recovery Programme also applies to those who carry out business activities at home such as food distribution and delivery, including purchasing raw materials, machines and motorcycles.
“The processing and preparation of food or basic ingredients to prepare food before being sent to the site or any permitted business premises and carrying out business activities in licensed stalls such as burger stalls or anything similar are also listed in the programme,” he said in a statement.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the programme on Saturday by allocating RM50 million to Agrobank to help about 10,000 individuals who are interested in starting food-based micro businesses.
Ismail Sabri said that up to RM5,000 would be offered for the first stage and RM10,000 for the second stage where the applicants will be given a moratorium for the first six months and charged a 3% profit rate for the seventh month with a maximum financing period of up to 60 months or five years.
Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah added that this moratorium period is to give space to entrepreneurs to remain focused on arranging their business strategy while gaining knowledge and experience in the business world and stabilising the new business round capital they are working on before starting to repay their financing.
“We don’t want to burden our entrepreneurs with the pressure to continue making their financing payments as soon as it is approved and they end up failing in the business they just started,” he added.
In addition, Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah also added, those who have just been involved in the food business or young entrepreneurs, or those who have an interest in starting a food business, can seek advice from the Agrobank Centre of Excellence for various branches of advisory services including for learning about business management plans or cashflow, as well getting guidance to become successful food entrepreneurs.