Coopbank Introduces Farmers’ Savings Account

Ethiopia’s population is believed to be about 108 Million based on some estimates. Around 80-85 percent of its inhabitants live in rural areas and are engaged in agriculture. Frequent drought, lack of training and equipment for farmers, and poor access to markets make it difficult for them to earn a living. Beyond all, most of the problem occur due to the extravagant nature and low-level saving habit of the farmers.

During the harvest time, the farmers gain the yield and hence they are on the peak period. As a result, in this peak period, the farmer’s consumption and other expenditures reach the highest level although most of them are extravagant purchases. However, the harvesting period is not a peak in the price of their products as well as their savings, but a peak in the consumption, and hence they face difficulty during the lean period (post-harvesting time) and next year planting times.

Cooperative Bank of Oromia has become the first bank to provide Farmers' Savings Account with better interest and attractive rewards as well as interest free banking services to the community. As it is clearly stipulated on its mission of rooting in a larger community, the bank is able to develop a new product that for the first time, said to help people engaged in agricultural activities such as farming, fishing and animal husbandry etc. The product is believed to revolutionize the saving culture and bring a difference in the livelihoods of the farmers.

Farmer’s Saving Account is a saving account that is uniquely designed for farmer’s bearing attractive interest rate paid monthly and offers various rewards on a lottery system mainly farming tools such as Tractors. The product is designed to encourage the unbanked and underbanked farmers save and leverage the enormous untouched potential, and ultimately transform their living.


What we are doing during the Covid -19 Outbreak

Since the outbreak of a deadly disease, COVID-19, Cooperative Bank of Oromia has been undertaking various measures and hugely contributed to the efforts being made to combat its spread nationwide. Among many, inter alia,

Donation and Awareness Creation

  • Donated ETB 5 million to the national committee established to combat COVID-19 via Ministry of Health.
  • Donated ETB 3 million to the Oromia Regional State to help combat the virus.
  • Temporarily gave its buildings to Oromia Regional State in Nekemte and Kuyu towns for this purpose to be used if the pandemic gets out of control.
  • Created awareness on several media about the virus to the general public and all branches of the bank have been engaged on the awareness creation activities.

Employees of the Bank

  • Procured and distributed to its branches and work units 26,000 facemasks that worth more than 3 Million and more than 4000 litres of sanitizer and alcohols worth about ETB 1 Million.
  • Arranged a shift service for its staff so that only few people can stay at work units while others be at home.
  • Provided different kinds of leave arrangement for its Staff:
    • Paid Leave
    • Advance Leave
    • Vulnerability Leave – For pregnant women as well as employees who have compromised immunity.
  • In the process of arranging Transportation services for the Staff living in Addis Ababa and major towns all over the country.
  • Employees of the bank across the country are supporting the prevention activities in their respective localities both financially and voluntarily.

Preparations at branches

  • Prepared hand washing materials and water at the gate of all the 416 branches of the bank.
  • Enforced physical distancing of customers as they come to the branches to avoid the risk of infection to our customers.

Fees and Interest Rates

  • Waived all fees from digital banking platforms including; ATMs, Coopay (Mobile Banking)
  • Waived LC extension fees;
  • Reduced Interest Rates, especially to the sectors largely hit by the pandemic. Interest rate reduction up to 4% has been made on the following sectors;
    • Cooperatives
    • Domestic Trade Service
    • The Hotel Industry
    • Manufacturing
    • Agriculture
    • Merchandise
    • Vehicle Loan
    • Building and Construction, Machinery
    • Import
    • Personal Loans/Mortgages