Budget 2021: Agrobank Lauds Initiatives for Agro Community
KUALA LUMPUR – Agrobank is delighted to note that Budget 2021 themed “Teguh Kita, Menang Bersama” has outlined a wide range of initiatives, action plans, fiscal measures and incentives addressing challenges brought about by the global pandemic that have caused economic uncertainties.
According to Khadijah Iskandar, Covering President / Chief Executive Officer of Agrobank, Budget 2021 shows a strong commitment by the Government towards ensuring economic expansion while taking into consideration the well-being of the people respectively to weather the impact of COVID-19.
“We appreciate the Government’s efforts to ensure the 2021 Budget will be inclusive, responsible and comprehensive towards achieving sustainable economic growth by taking into consideration of the interests of all groups in the country as the citizens of Malaysia especially in facing challenges due to the current bleak economy,” she said.
She highlighted several initiatives made by the Government which was carefully curated to benefit the agro community across all major races, as well as main segments like small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and both the bottom 40% (B40) and the middle 40% (M40) income groups. The specific initiatives related to agro community include the following:
- Government to provide RM95 million micro credit financing to empower women entrepreneurs through Agrobank and other government agencies
- Enhanced targeted moratorium and repayment assistance for the B40 and M40 income groups and existing recipients of the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) cash aid, who have financings of up to RM150, 000
- RM150 million financing under the Vessel Modernisation and Capture Mechanisation Programme through Agrobank that offers financing of up to RM5 million at a rate of 3.5 per cent for a period of 10 year to fishermen in zone A and B to upgrade equipment, nets and boats
- RM60 million funding for the Agrofood Value Chain Modernisation Programme through Agrobank that offers funding of up to RM1 million at a rate of 3.5 per cent for a period of 10 year for agricultural entrepreneurs to procure equipment and technology based on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0)
- The allocation of RM30 million for the extension of the Community Farming Programme for the semi-urban and rural communities, which provides equipment such as fertigation kits and crop media of up to RM500 per individual or RM50, 000 per community.
- The implementation of the Organic Agriculture Project as community project with an allocation of RM50 million and this is expected to benefit 1,000 communities.
- The implementation of impactful and high-value farming projects with an allocation of RM100 million through collaboration with state governments such as pineapple farming in Johor and freshwater prawns in Negeri Sembilan
- The implementation an Aquaculture Development Programme with an allocation of RM10 million through matching grants of up to RM20,000 for micro entrepreneurs to buy equipment to develop high-value aquaculture livestock
“Driven by Agrobank’s goal to focus on programmes aimed at supporting the unserved and underserved communities, we laud the Government’s initiative to allocate a total fund worth RM95 million to provide working capital financing to women entrepreneurs, which indirectly will be able to create more job opportunities especially for women during this difficult time. We believe by raising productivity and enhancing human capital among women is essential to sustainable economic growth,” she added.
Agrobank also welcomes the initiatives announced by the Government on the matter where an extension for the moratorium and simplified repayment assistance on bank financings will be granted for the B40 and the M40 income groups to cope with the economic situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our immediate priority is to do what we can to provide as much support and flexibility to those who may be entering a period of financial uncertainty. Today’s announcement is part of a broader programme of assistance that we hope will make our customer’s lives especially the B40 and M40 income groups a little easier during this challenging time.”
“With this unprecedented pandemic affecting all walks of life, we would like to welcome all of our customers to contact their respective branch officers or relationship managers to discuss possible solutions to overcome any financial challenges they may be facing. The team at Agrobank will continue to stay highly responsive to their changing needs and will continue to provide repayment assistance and accept applications until June 2021.”
Customers who require more information on Agrobank’s repayment assistance may call the Contact Centre at 1300 88 2476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call their respective relationship officers or branches, or visit www.agrobank.com.my
Commenting on the financing provided by Agrobank under two programmes – RM150 million financing under the Vessel Modernisation and Capture Mechanisation Programme and RM60 million funding for the Agrofood Value Chain Modernisation programme, Khadijah said, “The allocation of RM210 million for both programmes will certainly be able to stimulate investment in the use of modern technology in the agriculture and food production industries in Malaysia and in line with the need to meet food security demands in the long run.”
Overall, Budget 2021 is broad based and inclusive, taking into consideration the various economic groups of agro communities including farmers, fishermen and smallholders, women and B40 agropreneurs, food and produce exporters, and etc.
In view of this, Agrobank shall continue to work closely with the relevant ministries and agencies to reach out to more customers as well as to ensure that the programmes and incentives announced under Budget 2021 are expeditiously implemented to bring maximum benefit to the Rakyat, especially the low-and middle-income groups.