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Interest rates adjustments 24 Nov 2017
19 Dec 2017
24 November 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Interest rates for some Agribank products will see a modest increase of 0.50 percent (50 basis points) effective 1 December 2017. The Bank’s interest rates have not been adjusted since November 2013.
Notwithstanding the increase in some products, the Government subsidised interest rates will remain unchanged at 4%, while penalty interest rate on arrear balances will similarly also remained unchanged at 2%. Overall, Bank’s interest rates remain competitive relative to the market.
Subsidised loans are loans to communal farmers under the National Agricultural Credit Programme (NACP) and resettled farmers under the Post Settlement Support Fund. The NACP was established in 1995 for communal farmers to access credit in order to increase food production and become surplus producers, create jobs and alleviate the cycle of poverty. It also serves as a preparatory stage for small scale farmers in communal areas before they could be considered to qualify for the purchase of commercial farmland under the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS).
The new interest rates per loan type are indicated in the table below:
Short term loans
Medium term loans
Long term loans
NACP non-production loans X
NACP production loans
Post resettlement support
Bush control loans
Existing and prospective clients of Agribank are hereby informed of the change in interest rates. Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua Chief Executive Officer For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at: Tel.: 061 2074332 Fax: 061 2074206
PLANTING SEASON TIPS FOR FARMERS 1 November 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The season for planting has officially arrived and farmers should be busy preparing the land for cultivation and planting of grains like pearl millet (Mahangu), sorghum, maize and vegetables like, pumpkin, runner bean, water melon and tomatoes. Establishing a crop means that seeds or seedlings are placed in the ground at a certain time (referred to as planting time). If the crop establishes itself poorly, the yield potential is immediately limited.
Thus, a significant relationship exists between the time you plant and the crop yield you obtain. To ensure that the optimum yield is realised, crop producers need to take into consideration factors such as the correct time for planting, the plant spacing and the depth of seeding (sowing depth). Planting time.
For most crops there is an optimum time for planting, which depends on the climatic conditions and the time taken by the crops to reach maturity. For summer crops, such as maize, pearl millet and cow pea, early planting at the beginning of the rainy season is desirable as yields decrease with late planting. If planting commences late, the crop is likely to not reach its full physiological stage due to fewer days remaining for it to reach maturity.
Plant spacing The spacing of plants refers to the distance between rows and between plants in the row. The closer the spacing, the greater the number of crops that can be planted per hectare. However, too close spacing results in competition among crops and diseases and pests can spread quickly among the crop population. The ideal plant spacing depends on the type of crop, variety and the climatic conditions such as rainfall and water availability. Tomatoes may be grown at closer spacing of 5 cm apart, whereas crops like runner beans require 30 cm spacing in-between. In drier areas, wider spacing is preferable in order to provide more soil water to the individual crops. In high rainfall areas, or where there is irrigation, closer spacing is possible.
Sowing depth The sowing depth of a crop depends on the size of the seed, the type of soil and the weather. Generally, smaller seeds are sown at a shallower depth than larger seeds, while the deeper the seed is planted, the longer it will take the seedling to emerge and the weaker the plant will be at emergence (which may reduce plant vigour and
yield). Seeds may be planted deeper into sandy soil or in the case of dry planting i.e. planting before the rainy season. An important point farmers should remember when planting is to ensure good seed-to-soil contact as this enables the necessary absorption of water by seeds, which initiates germination.
To achieve an optimum crop harvest, do not crowd seedlings or plant them too close to each other. Give the plants sufficient time and space to reach their full potential and avoid deeper seeding in heavy soils. This article is compiled by Ms. Emilie Abraham, Technical Officer: Crops within Agribank’s Agri Advisory Services Division.
Issued by: Marketing and Communication Division
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at: Tel.: 061 2074332 Fax: 061 2074206
Agricultural lender Agribank has reported solid financial performance for the year ended 31 March 2017, despite a difficult operating environment. The lender’s loan book has grown 7.4% year-on-year whilst interest income grew by 6.4% year-on-year. Although general administrative expenses went up by 11%, this is a slow-down from the 17% growth recorded for the year ended March 2016. If provisions in respect of post-retirement medical aid are excluded from the general expenses, then operating expenses only went up by 7% in the latest financial year. Another main contributor to the rise in general expenses is depreciation as a result of new vehicles and furniture acquired for the branches. Net profit increased from N$7.3 million in 2016 to N$138 million in 2017. This is as a result of both operating performance and a change in the method of provision on advances from a general provision based on outstanding loan balances to a specific method based on individual loan accounts. Individual account provisioning is in line with the Bank of Namibia’s guidelines for commercial banks (BID-2), which Agribank adopted for the 2017 financial statements.
In line with good corporate governance practices, the bank finalised its annual audit and held its annual general meeting within the prescribed six-month period after financial year-end. The annual general meeting, which took place in Windhoek on 21 September 2017, was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Land Reform and Public Enterprises.
Other achievements recorded during the 2016/17 financial year included the finalisation and implementation of the bank’s five-year strategic plan, the implementation of a bank-wide performance management system, the launch of the no-collateral loan product for communal farmers, the implementation of an arrears collection strategy, the establishment of an in-house Agri Advisory Services division to sharpen focus on training and mentoring services for farmers, and the launch of product-specific awareness campaigns.
For the current financial year the bank will implement a new loan book funding strategy whilst continuing to embed a high performance culture in the business. The bank is currently in the process of re-engineering critical business processes in order to improve customer service. Identified data integrity issues will also be addressed.
Owing to historical issues, the audit for the year was qualified as the auditor could not attain sufficient comfort regarding the accuracy and completeness of collateral securities data. In 2009, the bank migrated from BankMaster to SAP as the core banking system. At that time, SAP did not have a functionality to capture collateral securities. This functionality was developed between 2010 and 2012. In the intervening period, collateral securities information was captured in excel format with the uploading of the data from excel to SAP taking place in August 2012. Since then, the capturing of the collateral securities data was done directly onto the SAP system. For the past five years, the bank has been running a project to complete the capturing of the collateral securities data onto SAP. However, this information was found by the external auditor to be inaccurate and also incomplete resulting in the qualification. The bank has taken immediate steps to identify all capturing errors within the data and will ensure corrective action is taken to avoid a similar situation in future. Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua Chief Executive Officer
For enquiries, kindly contact Sakaria Nghikembua on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0811280131.