DBSI Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tukana Borovo highlighted this yesterday when clarifying a statement made by a local farmer carried by this paper in its 18th June 2020 issue.
Mr. Borovo said that in the article, a farmer was quoted to have said that the criteria and requirements for obtaining loans from the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI) are near impossible for rural farmers to satisfy.
But he said that the farmer must have mixed up the DBSI LAIF loan which targets working people.
“The DBSI LAIF loan is meant for the working people of Solomon Islands and hence requires the provision of bank statements, NPF balances, and a letter of confirmation of employment from employers,” he said.
He suggested the farmer should have applied for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) loans which rightly target the rural populace.
He said the bank is looking at farmers as businessmen and women and even farmers need to understand that farming is an honorable business.
“We are treating them just like the commercial banks do,” he explained.
He further explained that this is the line of thinking most people take on commercial banks saying that the requirements are difficult to meet.
“What seems to transpire is that our farmers lack the financial education to help them obtain loans from the banks,” he said.
Farmers can obtain loans from DBSI through appropriate government development agencies in the rural areas or centers, he explained.
He said another way of doing it is to contact the bank so that officers responsible can help them out with the application process.
“It is important that a farmer fills up the application form so that we are able to tell the type of business you undertake for purposes of assessment of your loan application.
“It is equally important that a loan application is attached with supporting documents for ease of verification and assessment.
“The bank is dealing with public monies and it is incumbent on the bank to ensure that applicants have the capacity to repay their loans,” he said.
The Fijian added that DBSI is on the quest to ensure losses are minimized as much as possible.
“That it is imperative that the farmers, businesses, the bank, and the country as a whole benefit from the financial services offered by the bank,” he said.
By ESTHER NURIA