News & Media

Agribank develops business leaders

In line with its strategic focus on employees to develop leadership and management capacity to guarantee business continuity at all times, a group of 22 senior managers completed a six months’ leadership training course. This brings to 36 the number of middle and senior managers who participated in the course which covered aspects such as leading self, leading change, leading others, leading performance and leading engagement. The training aspects were complimented by actual work application in-between the theoretical modules to transform the Bank into a modern institution that is best placed to deliver superior customer service and effectively fulfill its mandate.

Speaking at the certification ceremony, Agribank Chief Executive Officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, noted that the value of any training is in the output of the beneficiaries. Nghikembua reminded the trainees to challenge themselves by asking themselves whether the services provided to clients are now better and efficient and whether the Bank is reaching out to more clients in an efficient manner. The Bank’s Organisational Development Manager Muhindua Kaura noted that "the training program had a tremendous impact on the business from the word go as it was a very practical process and demanded of participants to already apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the work environment".

Issued by:

Regan Mwazi
Executive: Marketing and Customer Strategy

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

Public Lecture on drought management strategies

A number of participants at the recently held public lecture on drought management strategies applauded Agribank for sharing valuable information on possible ways that livestock farmers can deal with the current adverse weather conditions. The lecture, held on Thursday 11 April 2019 in Otjiwarongo by Agribank’s Agri-Advisory Services Division (AASD), was attended by more than 60 part time and full time farmers, all with one common concern – the impact of the current drought on their livestock.

Namibia has endured recurrent drought conditions since 2013, which have affected the drier regions of the country such as the south, west and north-west, although some improvements in rainfall were recorded in 2017. Drought is characterized by a period of insufficient rainfall (far below average/normal) that depletes grazing areas and deprives the soil of sufficient/ moisture, resulting in poor land productivity. Consequently, drought conditions compromise livestock productivity, farm income, and farmers’ sustainable livelihoods.

During drought, livestock conditions deteriorate due to thirst and hunger, and eventual deaths are inevitable. Farmers do not earn much from their livestock as market prices have reduced due to deteriorated animal body conditions and insufficient fodder or grazing to maintain them. Financial burdens become heavier as farmers tend to depend heavily on commercial feed supplements to survive the drought.

AASD’s Technical Officer, Erastus Ngaruka, who conducted the public lecture, implored upon farmers to always have a plan to mitigate the impact of drought on their farming activities. "The most important stage is where farmers have to make decisions for any strategy chosen. Basically, they have three options; Relocate the animals, Sell the animals, or feed the animals, or a combination of these options", Ngaruka explained. According to Ngaruka, when a farmer decides on any or all three options, there are some key questions to be answered so that the decision is economical and not counter-productive in the end.

If the farmer decides to relocate, the following are key considerations: where to relocate and how far from essential services (e.g. markets, inputs), which animals and how many to be relocated, is there sufficient and reliable grazing and water? and what is the duration of your stay at the new place? It is advisable to assess the status of the new grazing area before moving the animals.

If the farmer decides to sell, the following needs to be considered. Which animals and how many to sell? when and where these animals will be sold, is there a restocking plan? how much money is expected from sales and what it is budgeted for. Timing is key when it comes to selling the animals, it is best to sell them while their body conditions and prices are favourable.

If the farmer decides to feed, the following needs to be considered. Which animals and how many needs to be fed? is there sufficient feed and additional money for extra feed? how much costs and for how long is the feeding period? what is your farm fodder flow plan and which are the sources? Drought feeding is most effective when animals are segregated according to their production stages and feeding needs.

Ngaruka reiterated that drought conditions will always vary, and there is no standard recipe to cope with drought. "Every year, a farmer should re-assess his/her farm business in terms of finances, feeds, and ability to survive any drought year," he concluded.

Issued by:
Regan Mwazi
Executive: Marketing and Customer Strategy

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

Response to questions via The Patriot newspaper

Response to Questions via The Patriot newspaper


1. Farmers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds have complained that Agribank is taking time to declare the drought a national crisis. They are questioning why you are not taking the lead to influence government to make the declaration. Why has the bank not yet done this?
It is not Agribank’s mandate to declare a drought in the country, least of all to declare the drought as a national crisis. It is also not the bank’s responsibility to influence the government to declare the drought or to declare it as a national crisis. The mandate to declare droughts in the country lies with the government. Farmers belong to farmers’ unions and these would be the correct structures which they should use to lobby government for purposes of declaring a drought in the country. The bank’s mandate is to finance agriculture, including initiatives aimed at coping with the drought, such as providing loans for fodder, water infrastructure, irrigation infrastructure, creating alternative income streams such as wood and charcoal production and similar drought-mitigating measures.

2. Secondly, they want the bank to suspend the collection of loans from them till the drought is over. What is the bank’s position on this?
The bank cannot accede to such a request on a wholesale basis. We wish to once again advise our clients to contact the bank and make appropriate repayment arrangements based on their specific circumstances. It is best that such an approach is made early. In an interview with a local newspaper last week, the Agribank chief executive officer indicated that the bank was finalising some drought assistance measures and that these will be announced in due course when finalised. It is however important to under-score that any such measures will be severely constrained by clients’ poor repayment record. The bank does not have access to unlimited cash resources and solely relies on what it collects back from clients to disburse anew. In the absence of such repayments, the bank cannot make new disbursements.

Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332; Fax: 061 2074206

Agribank’s top leadership pays a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has urged Agribank to continue with targeted stakeholder engagements with its strategic stakeholders to create a shared understanding about its operations and activities. The Premier expressed these sentiments at a stakeholder meeting held recently between her office, the Minister of Finance and Agribank Board and Management. She noted that Agribank plays a critical role in the agricultural sector as it is “for everyone from senior citizens, ordinary person to a child under the bridge”. Whilst appreciating the efforts of the bank, Kuugongelwa–Amadhila called for synergy between Agribank and Government institutions to ensure the activities are aligned in order to achieve the national developmental goals.

On his part, Agribank Chief Executive Officer Sakaria Nghikembua presented a brief overview on the mandate of the bank, product portfolio, farmers training and mentorship, financial status, available funding options as well as corporate social investment of the Bank. Nghikembua highlighted some of the challenges facing the Bank and possible solutions as well as the role that it plays in the country’s land reform process. “We have many social responsibility programs and one of them is that we are currently having four students on our bursary scheme, we also offer training and mentorship to farmers among others,” he said. According to Nghikembua, Agribank can be the center of enabling land reform in the country and transformation of agricultural sector in general, if sufficient support is provided by the relevant stakeholders.

The stakeholder meeting was attended by the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, Executive Director in the office of the Prime Minister I-Ben Nashandi as well as AgribankBoard and members of Senior Management. The meeting was held as part of Agribank’s stakeholder engagement strategy which employs multiple engagement methods including one-on-one meetings with strategic stakeholders.

Issued by:

Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206


Caption:
Agribank CEO Sakaria Nghikembua, Board member Dagmar Honsbein, Agribank Chairperson Michael Iyambo, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein, Board members Peyavali Hangula and Phanuel Kaapama pictured after the courtesy visit.

Agribank response to questions & issues raised

Response to Questions Raised via the Windhoek Observer
There are various ‘concerns’ allegedly raised by some concerned farmers related to Agribank that have been circulating on various social media platforms. In addition, we have been approached by the Windhoek Observer with questions about similar issues to which we have provided detailed response.

1) Why is the bank resorting to black listing farmers on the ITC, thereby crippling them financially and how does this address the bank’s efforts to recover its funds?
Listing is done in compliance with, and within the provisions of, the Credit Bureau Regulations as enforced by the Bank of Namibia to which Agribank is required to adhere like any other credit provider. Credit listing is only done as a mechanism of last resort for clients who repeatedly fail to honour their repayment obligations. The debtor is typically de-listed as soon as they have brought their account up-to-date. It should be pointed out that even retailers black list clients for relatively small credit balances, as do micro-lenders and commercial banks. It is the bank’s experience that clients take their repayment obligations more seriously when listed. It is very unfortunate that the bank is forced to take this step in respect of some of its clients who are in arrears. Clients that cooperate with the bank proactively have no reason to be concerned that they would be listed on ITC. In addition, the bank subscribes to ITC and uses this information to do credit checks as part of the approval process. Thus the importance of complete and accurate information provided to ITC by all credit providers cannot be overemphasised.

2) Agribank launched various initiatives to address land ownership imbalances in the country. Does your current aggressive approach in recovering funds owed from black farmers address this initiative?
We must correct the statement. Firstly, the approach we are following cannot be termed aggressive at all. In fact, the opposite is true and the bank is the most accommodative lending institution in the market. Secondly, the reference to black farmers is misleading as all clients are expected to honour their repayment obligations. The bank does not discriminate. Thirdly, you are right that the bank has put substantial commercial farm-land into the hands of previously disadvantaged Namibians, over 6 million hectares having been placed in such hands since independence through the bank’s financing and developmental objectives. The bank continues to play its role in pursuit of this national objective. In fact the bank is heavily reliant on clients repaying their debt to be able to pursue this objective. Simply put, the bank needs the cash inflows to be able to fund new loans at terms far more beneficial than farmers would otherwise have access to.

3) Why has the bank resorted to debt takeovers when black farmers fail to pay what is due and what criteria are you using to identify which debt can be taken over?
If the question is about clients who move their loans from commercial banks to Agribank, the normal credit assessment criteria applies. Many clients looking to move over to Agribank do so because of more favourable loan terms than those offered by commercial banks. Funding clients who wish to move over from commercial banks is not a new practice for the bank as the debt take-over product has been in existence for many years.

4) Farmers are raising concern that the recruitment of three white executives in the bank has worsened relations with them because of the handling of their issue and also allegations these are former colleagues of the current CEO?
It is easy to twist facts. The truth is simple. Firstly, the bank does not follow a policy of racial discrimination in its recruitment practices. Secondly, the CEO does not appoint executives in the bank. These are appointed by the Board following a rigorous recruitment process that delivers the most suitable people for each role. Thirdly, only two of the three people worked previously for the same employer as the CEO. They applied for positions that were advertised, just like others who responded to such advertisements. Fourthly, the credentials of these employees would clearly demonstrate that they are highly skilled, qualified and experienced professionals who are best suited for the roles they were appointed into by the Board. The bank needs the best people to escape the damage of many years; and for it to be sustainable. Fifthly, it is false to assert that these executives have worsened relations with the concerned farmers. The bank’s collections strategy was developed, approved and implemented well before any of these employees joined the bank; and none of these executives is at the forefront of collections. They cannot be made scape-goats. One of these employees only joined the bank in March 2019. How would he have contributed to the worsening of relations with any of the concerned farmers, for example? The bank has, indeed, begun to realise value from the recruitment of these professionals as evidenced in the progress it is making on various critical fronts. Sixthly, the allegation conveniently ignores black executives at the bank and creates an impression of racial imbalance. The CEO is black. The executive for credit is black. The executive for marketing and customer strategy is black. The executive for human resources is a black woman. There are four other people who, though not at executive level by role, have served continuously on the bank’s executive committee over the past two years – something implemented by the CEO. All these people are black – two men and two women. The bank introduced a Women Leadership Development Programme, at the initiation of the CEO and approval by the Board. Over the next three years, women 3 employees will have an opportunity to benefit from a mix of formal training at tertiary education institutions, supervisory and management development training, exposure and attachments at similar institutions and other related interventions. The sole objective of this programme is to develop women leaders in the business so that they are ready for leadership roles at different levels in the bank and in the broader economy. There is a committed budget behind this programme.

5) Of what results has the bank achieved by summoning farmers through the courts?
Instituting legal proceedings against clients is always a measure of last resort. This is only done after a significant time period has elapsed without any positive response from the client or when the client does not honour amended repayment terms or restructuring of the debt that take into account the farmer’s circumstances. Most clients who have reached legal action stage have either settled or significantly reduced their arrears, whilst making firm arrangements with the bank to settle the remaining arrears. Even at that late stage, the bank can and will accommodate clients to ensure that farm land is not unnecessarily forfeited to service their debt.
We have seen, and continue to see, very positive results from these initiatives in improving the bank’s non-performing loan book. Even with the improvement in collections, however, the amounts being collected at this stage are still not sufficient to meet the demand from clients. We could assist more people if the collections were higher but we see this as a journey that has yet to fully unfold. We will continue to focus on ensuring that we improve our collections processes so that we can fund more players across the agricultural value-chain. As we do so, we will continue to be accommodative to our clients who come forth to make the necessary repayment arrangements. We wish to re-iterate that it is not the bank’s primary objective to repossess farms. That is a last resort when all efforts have failed. This outlook informs our approach.

6) What is the mandate of the bank and what distinguishes the bank from other commercial banks in the country?
The mandate of the bank is to finance agriculture. We are a development financing institution and not a commercial bank. We are further differentiated from a commercial bank in that we are not a deposit taking institution, thus we don’t have the same sources of funding as a commercial bank has access to, to grow its loan book. The bank’s funding of its loan book is done through a combination of government funding, repayments from our clients and external debt. External debt however is expensive and is typically higher than our average lending rates to clients. Our interest rates are lower than market rates. Our grace periods tend to be better than those offered by commercial banks. Our payment frequency is more favourable than options offered by commercial banks. But just because we are a development financing institution does not mean clients do not have to honour their loan commitments. The bank is specifically not mandated to write-off debt on arrear clients and can only do so after all legal processes have been 4 thoroughly exhausted. We also provide repayment flexibility and are more accommodating than is the case with commercial banks. No commercial bank will wait for so long before they list a client on a credit bureau or resort to legal proceedings which might entail the selling of a client’s farm. Our mandate is also to be inclusive. We do this by providing loans to communal farmers who might not have fixed property to offer as collateral. In mid-2017, we introduced a no-collateral loan product for communal farmers which has to-date disbursed over N$55 million in loans. We also provide funding to farmers resettled on commercial farmland by the government without requiring collateral. We do this to catalyse the development of agriculture country-wide. In addition, the bank offers free training and mentorship services to farmers throughout the country, which commercial banks do not do. That’s our mandate.

7) The bank has hiked its interest rates twice since the appointment of the current CEO. What is the rationale behind this and are you aware of the impact its having on farmers loan repayments?
Interest rate adjustments need to be de-linked from the CEO. They are simply a business imperative. Needless to say that interest rate increases can only be implemented on approval of the Board following a thorough motivation from management supported by impact analysis. The last two rate adjustments were not the first time the bank has increased interest rates. This has happened in the past and will happen in future. To finance the needs of clients, the bank needs money. Because of the poor repayment record of the bank’s clients generally, inflows from existing clients are not sufficient to meet the demand. This means that the bank has to borrow to partly fund new loans. Such borrowing comes at a cost that is market related. The bank needs to gradually raise its interest rates to reflect that cost of funding. If the repayments were reasonable, none of this would likely be necessary. In the bank’s last audited financial report, the Auditor-General specifically advised the bank to adjust its interest rates to reflect its cost of funding. No institution can sustainably borrow at high interest rates to lend at low interest rates. That’s the rationale.

8) Does Agribank conduct any on-ground assessment at the request of farmers struggling to repay their loans when requested and how many have been conducted this year and last year?
It is not financially feasible for the bank to have its officials drive around the country visiting every farm. Assessments cannot be used as an excuse for clients not to make repayment arrangements. The farmer is in charge of his farming enterprise. What we certainly do is pre-approval inspections and where necessary post-disbursement inspections.

9)
The last time you spoke about a review process for the Affirmative loan scheme. Who is going to make up the panel and are farmers going to be represented?
The Ministry of Agriculture is the custodian of the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS), which was set up by Cabinet. The bank’s role is to advance loans to applicants in line with the requirements of the scheme. What we have consistently stated is that this scheme needs review – having been established in 1992. Much has changed since then. For one, farm prices have gone up substantially. The deposit requirement on this scheme, for example, has become unaffordable to many applicants. There are other elements of the scheme which the bank believes require review. We have proposed the need for review to the custodian of the scheme. So any questions about participation in the review of the scheme are best directed to the relevant Ministry.

10) What exactly is being reviewed and what are the problems?
In the bank’s assessment, it is the qualifying criteria that require review. There may be other perspectives which other stakeholders are free to bring to the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture.

11) The country is currently faced with a drought. What are the bank’s plans to help farmers?
The bank is closely monitoring developments in weather patterns and vegetation conditions and has been considering relevant options. These will be announced at the appropriate time in due course.

Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

Agribank triumphs - Diamond Arrow at PMR Africa awards

Agribank scooped the prestigious Golden Arrow Award at the annual PMR Africa awards held in Windhoek on Monday. Awarded in the Leaders and Achievers – Agricultural Finance category, the award was given to Agribank for being one of the companies and institutions doing the most in their sectors over the past 12 months to stimulate the economic growth and development of Namibia. Agribank achieved a rating of excellent as determined by a random, national sample of respondents comprising chief executive officers, managing directors, business owners, company directors, managers and senior government officials based in Namibia.

Commenting on the award, Agribank CEO Sakaria Nghikembua expressed appreciation for the award noting that the Bank continues to make transformational in-roads in a very difficult operating environment. “As a Bank, we need to be resilient in the most testing of times, ensure financial sustainability and demonstrate exemplary corporate governance whilst making sure that we serve our mandate, that of being the catalyst for the transformation of the agricultural sector,” stated Nghikembua.

The vision, integrity, values and competence and empathy that contribute to ethical and sustainable business practices are measured meticulously. PMR Africa conducts a survey annually to measure companies, institutions, government entities and individuals on their contribution to the economic growth and development of the country, levels of management expertise, implementation of corporate governance and levels of innovation.

The PMR Africa awards are considered as the equivalent of the “Corporate Oscars” in Namibia. Corporate heavyweights rubbed shoulders at a business breakfast in Windhoek on Monday whilst waiting with bated breath as their ratings on various key performance indicators by fellow professionals were revealed. Through the awards, PMR Africa acknowledges contributions, initiatives, strategies, efforts and hard work of corporates in Namibia. The awards are aimed at, amongst others, enhancing excellence, setting a bench mark in the industry and acknowledging the contributions of businesses and employees.

Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:

Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

Vice President visits Agribank

Namibia’s vice president, Dr Nangolo Mbumba, visited Agribank last week as part of his familiarisation journey to key state-owned enterprises. Dr Mbumba met with the board and senior management before touring the Agribank building and meeting with staff members on the first and Midland branch floors.

During his welcoming remarks, board chairperson Michael Iyambo noted that the visit comes at a difficult time for the economy in general and agricultural industry in particular, especially given the prolonged economic downturn and unpredictable weather cycles. Iyambo was however optimistic that such conditions also present opportunities for the bank. “What we need as a nation is upright leadership, closer synergies among key stakeholders, innovation and diversification and most importantly the urge to take important decisions and actions” he concluded.

At the occasion, Agribank chief executive officer Sakaria Nghikembua presented an overview of the bank’s mandate, its product portfolio as well as challenges and opportunities the bank is facing, and how these are being dealt with. Nghikembua emphasised that Agribank has an important role to play in the land reform process in the country, adding the bank requires support of all stakeholders to effectively and sustainably deliver on its mandate.

On his part, Dr Mbumba expressed appreciation for the visible synergy and teamwork demonstrated by the bank’s board and senior management in the process leading up to his visit and during the visit itself. The vice president noted that farmland prices are skyrocketing and that a sustainable solution is required through a multi-stakeholder approach. He further called upon Agribank to finance value-adding industries, such as the abattoirs in communal areas in order to alleviate the urban migration challenge. He added that the dynamics of farming have changed and thus farmers need continuous training and mentorship to succeed. “You cannot live in a modern economy without sufficient preparation and requisite knowledge”, he concluded.

Issued by:

Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

2018 Review

As the year draws to a close, we reflect on its highlights and anticipate the future. This has been a tough year – one that tested our resilience as a country. The Namibian economy stretched further into a technical economic depression that started in 2016. Since then the economy has registered nine consecutive quarters of negative growth, from 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016 to 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018. This is the first time that Namibia has experienced such a contraction episode since independence, largely driven by weak performance in the construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors. In our assessment, the current state of the economy is an outcome of a tight fiscal environment, underscored by sluggish household spending.

Primary agricultural output, which has historically supported the domestic economy, has surprised on the downside. The sector recorded growth of 1.4 percent and -1.1 percent in the first and second quarters of 2018, respectively, in contrast to the impressive growth of 16.5 percent and 21.2 percent recorded in the corresponding quarters of 2017. The minimal growth in the agricultural sector somewhat reflects that favourable prices and trading conditions observed in 2018 could not sustain agricultural output due to the dominance of supply side constrains over demand forces.

The surge in livestock producer prices in 2018 did not attract higher off-take rates as farmers largely focused on herd re-building, resulting in limited marketing stock being made available. Furthermore, the macroeconomic environment has been less supportive of the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
Specifically, the Namibia Dollar plummeted against the US Dollar by about 7 percent (y-o-y), resulting in a production cost squeeze.

Looking to the future, Namibia’s real GDP growth is expected to marginally improve from a negative growth of 0.9 percent in 2017 to 0.6 percent and 1.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively (BoN, July 2018). The mining and quarrying, electricity, water, transport and communication sectors are expected to support growth, complemented by a renewed focus on fiscal support to strategic sectors. Headline inflation is likely to average 4.3 percent this year, before increasing further to 5.7 percent and 5.4 percent in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Risks to the growth outlook are slow growth and political dynamics in our major trading partners, slow recovery of commodity prices, US policy uncertainty and sluggish domestic consumer spending.

Local meteorological experts predict that the 2018/19 rainy season will receive normal to below normal rainfall in most parts of the country. Given this forecast, we are concerned about the intensity and distribution of rainfall and the subsequent impact these twin developments might have on our customers.

The Namibian economy is faced with structural and climatic challenges. We need to embrace technology to increase production in the primary production and manufacturing sectors through backward and forward linkages. We believe that, policy-wise, these should be the key investment priority areas for the public and private sectors for the economy to rebound onto a sustainable growth path.

Agribank endured a tough economic environment, too. However, the Bank continued to support the agricultural sector through financial and advisory services. We see greater scope for Agribank to contribute to the economic development and betterment of the Namibian society. Towards that end, we strive to be the pillar that investors in the agricultural sector lean towards to grow their businesses.

In the midst of all this, we still see a promising agricultural sector provided it can embrace climate and economic-resilient strategies such as on-farm diversification, effective and on-time marketing and de-stocking, and the use of technology to enhance production. Aligning ourselves to the national strategic plans, the Bank will continue to support the agricultural sector through strategic interventions in the form of financial inclusion, sustainable lending practices, effective loan collections, stringent risk management and stakeholder partnerships.

Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua Chief Executive Officer

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206

Agribank adjusts interest rates

Interest rates for some Agribank products will see a modest increase of 0.75 percent (75 basis points) effective 1 December 2018. The salary backed no collateral loan product will increase with 1 percent (100 basis points). Notwithstanding the increase in some products, the Government subsidised interest rates will remain unchanged at 4 percent, while penalty interest rate on arrear balances are unchanged at 2 percent. Overall, the 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 (PSSF). 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:

Loan Type


Previous Rates


New Rates
Subsidised loans 4.00% 4.00%
Short term loans 8.00% 8.75%
Medium term loans 8.75% 9.50%
Long term loans 8.50% 9.25%
NACP non-production loans 7.50% 8.25%
NACP production loans 4.00% 4.00%
Post resettlement support 4.00% 4.00%
Bush control loans 6.50% 7.25%
No Collateral loans 8.00% 9.00%
Arrears penalty 2.00% 2.00%
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


Agribank gets new Board

In a seamless transition which represents change with continuity, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein recently appointed a new Board of Directors for Agribank. The new Board’s term runs from 1 September 2018 to 31 August 2021. The new Board is led by Michael Iyambo as Chairperson, with Dagmar Honsbein as Deputy Chairperson. Honsbein also chairs the Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee (FRACC). Other members of the five-member Board are Dr Michael Humavindu, who chairs the Credit and Investment Committee (CIC), Phanuel Kaapama who chairs the Human Resources Committee (HRC) and Peyavali Hangula. Hangula serves on the Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance as well as the Human Resources Committees.

Two of the previous directors, namely former Board Chairperson Terttu Uuyuni and Oiva Mahina, who chaired the Human Resources Committee, retired from the Board and were not available for re-appointment after serving on the Board for eight and six years, respectively. Following is a brief profile of each of the new Agribank board members;

Michael Iyambo is a knowledgeable and successful commercial farmer, with a focus on horticulture. Iyambo’s successful farming business resulted in him receiving the following awards: Namibia Business Awards’ Award for Excellence (2011), Large Scale Horticulture Producer of the Year (2014), Freshmark Supplier of the Year (2016); and his appointment as the Chairman of the National Horticultural Task Team, Vice Chairman of the Karst Area Horticultural Association as well as Vice Chairman of the Potatoes and Onions Producers Association (Namibia). Iyambo was recently appointed as Chairperson of the Namibia Agronomic Board. His knowledge about the industry, and sound business acumen, provide for optimum advice on credit analysis. In addition to the Board chairmanship, Iyambo serves on the Credit and Investment Committee of the Board.




Dagmar Honsbein has fundamental and practical insights in value chain management as well as financial systems and resources mobilisation for development. She is equally comfortable in providing professional services at policy and grassroots levels. Her extensive knowledge in the productive sectors are invaluable as the Bank gears itself to serve its clients and respond to their needs in an ever-changing agricultural environment. Honsbein is a fellow in International Marketing from Reutlingen University in Germany and holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Applied Sciences from Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom; as well as a Master in Leadership in Development Finance, from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany and a BSc in Wood Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. She is a Certified Expert in Microfinance, SME Finance and Climate and Renewable Energy Finance, as well as Financial and Managerial Accounting. In addition to chairing the Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee, Honsbein also serves on the Human Resources Committee. With her husband, she farms commercially in the Khomas region.

Dr Michael Humavindu boasts a strong academic and professional background in economic research and modelling, industrialization, MSME development and development banking. Dr Humavindu spent eight years in development finance at the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), where he worked on project finance, deal structuring, credit assessments, and the design of policies such as the Microfinance Policy and Development Impact Framework. Presently a Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, Dr Humavindu is optimally positioned to lead discussions and test the Bank’s policies against the fiscal space, sustainable finance and the country’s economic agenda. Dr Humavindu holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Umeä, an MSc in Finance and Investments from the University of Durham, United Kingdom, an MA in Economics from the University of Stellenbosch, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Economics from the University of London, United Kingdom. He chairs the Board’s Credit and Investment Committee and serves on the Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.He is a Trainer of Trainers in Investment Appraisal as well as a Certified Development Banker. Dr Humavindu is an emerging communal farmer in the Otjozondjupa Region.

Peyavali Hangula is a Chartered Accountant in Namibia and South Africa, registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN). She holds an Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science (CTA) from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from the University of Namibia (UNAM). She completed her articles with Deloitte Namibia and thereafter was seconded to work for Deloitte in Atlanta, USA, for a period of 6 months to gain international experience in the field of auditing. Hangula’s work experience in the financial environment spans over a period of ten years. She possesses a wide range of skills in the areas of accounting, financial reporting, corporate governance, internal controls; external and internal audits a well as in regulatory reporting. Hangula has worked for Standard Bank of Namibia as a Financial Reporting Manager and as a Regulatory Manager. She now works for FirstRand Namibia as a Manager: Finance. Part of her community outreach involves serving as the National Treasurer and Chairperson of the Finance Committee of Scouts of Namibia. Hangula serves on the Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee, as well as the Human Resources Committee.

Phanuel Kaapama is employed at the University of Namibia (UNAM) as a Lecturer for Governance and Development Studies, where he is also serving as the current Head of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies. He holds a National Diploma in Public Administration from the Polytechnic of Namibia, as well as an MSc. in Development, Planning and Administration from the University of Bristol (UK). His research interest revolves generally around issues of development theory and practice. He regularly gives media commentaries on Namibian, African and world politics; and has published a number of academic papers. Prior to joining the academia in the year 2000, he worked for the National Planning Commission (NPC) as Namibia National Coordinator, Capacity Building for Economic Management Programme on secondment from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Windhoek. From 1997 - 1998 he worked for the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) as the Head of the Policy and Advocacy Department. His first formal job was as the Founding Secretary General of the National Youth Council of Namibia from 1994 – 1997. Kaapama was part of the
High - Level Committee for the Preparation of the 2nd National Land Conference and is also a member of both the Technical Committee and Negotiating Team in the Bilateral Negotiation with the Federal Republic of Germany on 1904 Genocide, Apology and Reparation. He also boasts extensive farming experience in both communal and commercial agricultural sectors. Kaapama Chairs the Human Resources Committee and also serves on the Credit and Investment Committee.

Commenting on the new Board, Agribank chief executive officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, stated: ‘We are excited about the new Board. It’s a good story of change with continuity. This is a solid Board with experienced individuals who have established track records. It’s the type of people we should be having on Boards of public enterprises for progress. The appointing authority has done an excellent job here’.

Issued by:
Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer

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