A local microfinance institution, Duterimbere IMF Ltd, is set to expand its loan portfolio, to assist farmers to have easy access to credit.
The Managing Director of Duterimbere, Delphin Ngamije, said his institution will provide credit worth Rwf4 billion by the end of this year, up from Rwf2.5 billion last year that was loaned to a total of 53,500 customers. The Agricultural sector, which is somewhat less prioritised by commercial banks, is set to be the biggest beneficiary.
“We have also taken on micro-leasing as one of the products that will enable customers to access loans even without collateral,” Ngamije said during Duterimbere’s General Assembly held in Kigali over the weekend.
Last year, Duterimbere made a net profit of Rwf116 million and is targeting a total of Rwf200 million as proceeds this year, which signals the recovery of MFIs after a period of poor business practices.
Ngamije said that a training programme has been put in place to empower customers with entrepreneurship and business management skills.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group has iin the recent past called on financial Institutions to embrace micro leasing targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The World Bank said this would eliminate challenges SMEs face in accessing finance due to lack of collateral.
Duterimbere, which also empowers women entrepreneurs economically, operates 17 branches countrywide.
The Executive Secretary of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), Rita Ngarambe, commended Duterimbere saying it had played a significant role in entrepreneurship among women.
“Women in rural areas have been able to embrace the savings culture and start small businesses which have later been developed,” she noted.
By Susan Babijja, The New Times