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Deputy minister of finance urges farmers to support Agribank

The deputy minister of Finance, Natangwe Ithete has applauded Agribank for introducing no collateral loan products for both communal and commercial farmers. Ithete was speaking at the local economic revival conference for the maize triangle towns of Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein last week.

The deputy minister highlighted the competitive interest rates offered by the bank and urged local farmers to support the bank through taking out loans and honouring the repayment of such loans. “The bank is not a profit making institution and the little interest that they charge is meant to recoup their operational cost and to ensure that there is money to on-lend to other clients to have a bigger developmental impact”.Ithete also defended the practice of advancing collaterised loans as it encourages loan holders to work hard and produce in order to repay their loans. “Collateral encourages to work hard to ensure that you do not lose your property for non-payment”, Ithete stated.

The deputy minister also defended the turn-around times of the bank, noting that whilst he understand that the loan turn-around times take a bit longer when compared to commercial banks, it is necessary to do proper due diligence to avoid over indebtedness that may lead to the borrower not able to service their loans. “It is only fair that proper due diligence is carried out to make sure that our people obtain loans they can afford and repay to ensure the bank is sustainable. I therefore urge all Namibians and especially the youth to support Agribank in its mandate to promote the growth of agriculture”, he stated.

The conference was attended by the political leadership of the Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa regions, senior government officials, youth and farmers from Otavi, Tsumeb and Grootfontein.

Issued by:

Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332

Opportunities to unleash natural resources

Namibia could be de-risked against erratic climatic conditions if it can sustainably tap underground water and create green zones as well as create a national climate resilience fund to smooth out the impact of climate volatility. This is the view expressed by Agribank Chief Executive Officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, at the recently concluded Economic Growth Summit in Windhoek.

Nghikembua explained that the country should exploit underground water resources to create green zones and turn traditional crop fields into all year round grain and horticulture sites. He asserts that through the extraction of water from aquifers in Ohangwena, Oshivelo and eastern Zambezi, in addition to tapping water from the Kunene river and redistributing it throughout the northern regions, could encourage diversification of crops and growing fodder.

Nghikembua also referred to the lack of adequate agricultural statistics for northern communal areas. "We need to establish a credible system of collecting agricultural statistics in northern communal areas and plan on the basis of solid information in respect of livestock numbers and crop yields", he stated. Nghikembua further highlighted the current fragmented coordination of the agricultural sector which leads to split efforts and ineffective impact. The Agribank chief intimated that through national coordination, mentorship and training of farmers should be strengthened to improve rangeland management, crop yields, incomes and deliver a positive contribution to the GDP. He therefore calls for establishment of the Chamber of Agriculture to coordinate improved synergies amongst various stakeholders, most notably the government, agricultural farmers’ unions, financial institutions and donors. He highlighted climate resilience through diversification at farm level as an emerging opportunity to ensure that farmers can maximise their income streams.

Nghikembua is of the view that policy options on value addition should focus on competitiveness and sustainability of primary producers. "We need to ensure access to knowledge and skills, access to productive infrastructure such as irrigation, access to expansive markets domestically, regionally and internationally and that policies aid profitability of value-adders", he noted. According to Nghikembua, the overall policy should include incentives to produce, add value and create jobs rather than to force specific behaviors on producers.

Issued by:
Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

ERFP product for full time communal farmers gains traction

Agribank has approved loans worth over N$7.1 million for full time communal farmers under the Emerging Retail Financing Product (ERFP). The Bank introduced the ERFP in response to market demand for collateral-free products for full time communal farmers as part of its efforts to widen financial inclusion in addition to the No-collateral product for salaried employees.

The maximum loan amounts for ERFP is N$1 million at varying affordable and competitive interest rates depending on the merits of each business plan. Loans will be granted on the basis of the completion of the mandatory training and mentorship program in the production, management and marketing of the commodities of the undertaking. In addition, the applicants must be available for attachment to the Bank approved mentor.

The ERFP loans target full-time communal farmers already farming in areas such as animal husbandry for livestock farming, poultry farming for raising birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese, agronomy and horticulture for fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sorghum, maize, pearl millet and mahangu as well as fodder production to supply feed to livestock. Applicants of the ERFP loans are required to submit a comprehensive business plan of which a template is available at all Agribank offices. The ERFP loans will be appraised against new criteria set after the comprehensive review of the product to ensure adequate risk mitigating measures are in place.

The Bank remains committed to implement innovative financing solutions to enhance agricultural production in line with the stated objectives of NDP5 and other national development goals.
Come one, come all to the nearest Agribank Regional Branches countrywide for the product that empowers full-time communal farmers at very competitive interest rates below the prime rate.

Issued by:
Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

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What type of security must I provide for a loan at Agribank?

Loans are granted against security of fixed property, investment or any other acceptable form of security (fixed deposits, investments and surrendering value of policies). read more

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