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Agribank loans show marked improvement

Agribank’s CEO Amb. Leonard Iipumbu reflects on the achievements the bank went through for the year 2014

The Agricultural Bank of Namibia’s approved loans to farmers increased by 51% to N$386 million this year from N$256 million recorded last year resulting in the expansion of the total loan book by an estimated 21% to N$2.3 billion. According to Agribank these figures show an increased demand for Agribank products and a remarkable growth of the institution and a major highlight of the banks achievements for the year 2014. Agribank loans to small scale farmers increased by 159 % to N$75 million under the National Agricultural Credit Program (NACP) in 2014 compared to to N$29million from 2013, which in turn created and maintained 1,458 permanent and 2,916 temporary jobs.

“The uptake of loans under this programme remains high and continues to benefit the majority of communal farmers for sustained socio-economic development,” said the Agribank’s CEO Amb. Leonard Iipumbu. Other highlights of the achievements attained by Agribank during the year 2014 include the extended loans under the National land Reform Programme (NLRP). Iipumbu said “Loans extended under NLRP have also seen a growth of 125% to N$157.7 million for 24 farms, purchasing 141,430.39 hectares of commercial land.” According to Iipumbu, Agribank also responded positively to the worst drought in 30 years by providing relief to about 142 clients with a total of N$41 million spent under the drought Relief Scheme that Agribank launched last year and this is another highlight of the what Agribank did in 2014. Again in 2014 Agribank also focused on post-settlement support. Said Iipumbu, “during the year under review, the Bank approved a total of N$9.8 million under the post-settlement support funding benefiting 81 resettled farmers.” “To date N$53 million has been disbursed benefiting more than 738 resettled farmers,” he added. Another milestone Iipumbu felt the bank had achieved  in 2014 is notably farmers support project. Under the Farmers Support Project, the bank contributed N$5 million in addition to GIZ’s N$5.6 million during the financial year to contract 34 mentors for training and mentoring services to farmers country-wide. “As a result, 830 farmers south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence and 296 farmers in the Northern Communal Areas received training by September 2014,” added Iipumbu.
 In terms of product development Ipumbu said Agribank plans to improve product and service delivery to clients, in particular small-scale farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs in 2015. Ipumbu extended gratitude to government ministries. Urging all clients with approved loans from those yet to take up their loans before mid-March 2015.

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