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Minister calls for improved financial accessibility to MSMEs to realize national scheme

Addis Ababa, June 19, 2023 (FBC) – Accessing finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) needs to improve massively to realize the nation’s long-term ambitions in the sector, minister Agriculture Girma Amente said.

Opening the half day workshop on access to finance for MSMEs, Girma said that ministry of agriculture identifies access to finance as a key pillar in the 10-year development plan, creating enabling environment for development of the agriculture sector.

Even though the contribution of agriculture is very immense for the economic development of the country, the focus and coverage it obtains in terms of financial accessibility is weak, he affirmed.

For the minister, sufficient financial accessibility is crucial for the agriculture sector to meet the overall ambitions of the nation as working on the linkages among water, land and human resources is also pivotal.

Similarly, Vice Governor of National Bank of Ethiopia Solomon Desta stressed the crucial role the agricultural sector plays for the nation’s economic growth.

The vice governor also stated the policy and strategy issued by NBE need to enhance access to finance to the sector.

One of the policy directives which the NBE has put is an obligation on commercial banks to avail at least 5 percent of the loan disbursement to enterprises in the agriculture sector, it was indicated.

For his part, CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI) Mandefro Nigussie said that despite significant efforts by the government of Ethiopian and development partners to improve MSMEs’ access to finance, the financial market is under-developed in Ethiopia.

So, he added MSMEs are suffering from limited access to finance which is stifling the sector’s ability to contribute towards the country’s economic development and generate higher employment.

Accordingly, major objectives of the workshop are to discuss the challenges and issues that are constraining the Agri-MSMEs operation in accessing finance, explore best experiences, obtain recommendations among others.

The half-day workshop was held in the presence of high-level federal and regional government officials, public and private financial institutes, agri-businesses SMEs among others.

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