1 October 2013

Stanbic IBTC, John Deere Financial and Tata partner on agriculture financing



Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has entered a collaboration with Tata Africa Services and John Deere Financial, a division of United States-based John Deere, whereby Stanbic IBTC Bank will provide a range of financial services to customers of John Deere.

Stanbic IBTC (www.stanbicibtcbank.com) operates in Nigeria and is a member of Standard Bank Group.

Mrs Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, says the collaboration will be pivotal in diversifying the Nigeria's economic base. This is in addition to the immense benefits that will accrue to Nigeria's quest to catalyse growth of agriculture by unlocking access to bank financing for operators along the entire agriculture chain,

"We are thrilled to partner with John Deere and Tata as their growth plans resonate well with our strategy to help stimulate growth of the Nigerian agriculture sector on a sustainable basis," Mrs David-Borha said.

She added that as Nigeria's natural resources are expected to drive strong growth and attract investments in the energy, mining, infrastructure development and agriculture sectors, Stanbic IBTC is well positioned to provide on-the-ground banking operations, staffed by expert teams familiar with local business conditions and regulations, to deliver excellent service to John Deere and its customers, providing support to dealers and building long-term relationships.

David-Borha urged stakeholders in the agriculture industry, particularly smallholders and commercial farmers, to turn to banks for structured funding to boost their productivity, as the various tiers of government work around creating an enabling environment and appropriate policies that will reduce the credit risks associated with agriculture lending.

On his part, Managing Director of John Deere Financial for sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Jacques Taylor, says the combination of the globally recognised John Deere brand and Stanbic IBTC will create a major platform to support all stakeholders especially the dealer networks, to enable them to obtain financing for their customers and enhance sale of equipment.

He said the collaboration can make a real difference in the country not only in terms of business, but in helping millions of Nigerians improve their lives through profitable farming.

Mr Sudeep Ray, Regional Director, West Africa, Tata Africa Services, says the company will enthusiastically participate in the unfolding agricultural revolution in Nigeria, adding that it was this quest that informed the collaboration with John Deere and Stanbic IBTC Bank.

"Tata has been in Nigeria for over eight years and is committed to mechanization of Nigeria's agriculture sector. We understand the needs of everyone along the agriculture chain and the collaboration with John Deere and Stanbic IBTC reinforces that goal of finding solutions to the sector's needs. Our customers not only want us to provide them with the right equipment, but also to offer them integrated equipment purchasing solutions. This collaboration will facilitate this for our clients, thus reinforcing our aspiration to be the first choice in agricultural equipment in the African region."

The benefits of the Stanbic IBTC, John Deere and Tata collaboration to customers include a unique combination of marketing and financial solutions, structured to suit their specific requirements, affordable financing options, together with a high level of flexibility. A range of asset-related financial products and value add-ons will be made available to customers, subject to appropriate regulations in the country. The initial value add-on products will be comprehensive asset insurance and credit lines.

National President, Tractor Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria, Engineer Elesa Bitrus Yakubu, urges the partners to quickly roll-out the financial options available to customers and pledged patronage by members of the association. He also calls on the Federal Government to help farmers with land acquisition and clearing so that mechanized farming could commence in earnest.

Established in 2006, TATA Africa Services (Nigeria) Limited, a subsidiary of TATA Africa Holdings (SA) (Pty) Limited, South Africa operates as the nodal point for Tata businesses in West Africa and has a wide presence in Nigeria with a strong infrastructure base, excellent marketing capabilities, knowledge of the local market and needs, highly qualified manpower and a commitment to community development initiatives for improving the quality of life of the people. It is part of the Tata Group with Group Revenues exceeding US$100-billion, 450,000 employees and offices in 85 countries.

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