KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 28): Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has formed a strategic partnership with Agrobank to offer micro-financing worth RM100 million to Bottom 40 micro-entrepreneurs in the agricultural and agro-based sectors.
Petronas’ president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the financing investment allocated by the oil and gas company will be disbursed over five years and managed by Agrobank's B40 micro-financing facilities programmes.
The initiative he said, was in line with Petronas' Statement of Purpose to be a progressive energy and solutions partner, enriching lives for a sustainable future as well as its commitment to support United Nation's eight sustainability development goals related to decent work and economic growth.
“As the agricultural sector and the agro-based industry are important catalysts in the nation's development, the Malaysian government is focusing on sustainable development to strengthen this community's capacity and skills especially for the B40 group who are often overlooked.
“Petronas believes the empowering of the B40 target group in the agriculture sector through comprehensive financing and skills enhancement under the program will generate skilled entrepreneurs, indirectly accelerating the growth of human resource capabilities, technological innovation and productivity in the agricultural sector which will further boost the economy and the development of the country as a whole, “ said Wan Zulkiflee at the partnership signing ceremony here today.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Agriculture and Agro-base Industry Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub witnessed the signing ceremony.
Meanwhile, Agrobank covering president and chief executive officer (CEO) Khadijah Iskandar said the financing would be given up to 100 per cent from the entire operational cost at the bank's lowest interest rate of 2.0 per cent per annum.
“The aim of the initiative is to empower the B40 group with the goal of providing a better standard of living for them.
“This collaboration will further expand Agrobank's reach to enhance financial access to agro-based communities with diverse expertise,” she added.
At present, Agrobank has over 11 micro-finance programmes nationwide covering paddy cultivation, chilli fertilizer, oil palm, dairy cows, pineapple, swallow bird and many more.