View into the green house of a young farmer in Bo'ka, Uzbekistan
The project “Strengthening the agribusiness sector and supporting rural development in Uzbekistan by offering suitable financial services” was implemented in Mai 2019 with a first orientation phase of 24 months until the end of April 2021. Due to its success in helping many people in rural areas to set up their own start-ups, the project will run for another three years until the end of April 2024.
The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the agricultural sector and to promote rural development in Uzbekistan by providing adequate financial services. This will ensure a more stable income for the low-income, rural population as well as for agricultural enterprises, while improving food security at the same time.
To achieve this objective, the project is working to create better access to adequate financial services for agricultural enterprises (MSMEs) and individual entrepreneurs operating in the agricultural sector. Therefore, German Sparkassenstiftung cooperates with both a supply and a demand side in Uzbekistan.
On the supply side, there are three banks: Agrobank, Mikrokreditbank and Xalq Banki.
On the demand side, there is the Youth Union of Uzbekistan and, as a new partner, the Business Women Association. With this new cooperation, we can reach and empower even more women in the future and within the framework of this project.
Implementing the project successfully and sustainably also means strengthening the economic, financial and entrepreneurial knowledge of agribusiness stakeholders over the years. In seminars and workshops, organized by German Sparkassenstiftung, bank employees broaden their skills in implementing simplified credit and banking processes. Young people, working in agriculture, receive economic and financial training on budgeting and loan application. At the same time, this knowledge is being transferred to the training of local trainers who will take over these educational tasks for the target group in the future. Due to the pandemic, these seminars can now also be provided online.
For implementing these trainings, the project has developed two different “education pyramids” that address the needs of people engaged in the agricultural and banking sector. Step by step, young people from the countryside learn how to start their own business and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. At the other side, bank employees are trained in customer-oriented consulting as well as in additional banking areas.
Education lays the foundation for credit - Young farmers, who have successfully participated in the seminars, will receive a certificate that enables them to apply for a loan from the so-called Rotating Credit Fund. These funds were implemented in cooperation with the three partner banks to give these well-trained people a chance to receive a loan for their start-up ideas. Through this new opportunity, trust and partnership between these young people and the banks begin to emerge and grow.