Agribank, GIZ intensify bush control and biomass utilisation project
Agribank and GIZ/MAWF Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project signed another memorandum of understanding to extend and strengthen their area of cooperation in bush control and biomass utilisation for a period of two.
The new MoU reflects the two parties’ intention to extend and strengthen their collective activities, which include the development of financing products aimed at scaling-up projects in bush control and biomass utilisation, using the expertise of the De-bushing Advisory Service.
Other areas include advice on risk assessment of applicable loans, sharing of relevant information, hosting of capacity building activities for farmers and SMEs as well as current loan holders and monitoring and evaluation of bush control and biomass utilisation activities by loan holders.
“The new agreement underscores our intent to make a difference on bush control and biomass utilisation. It will enable us to help more farmers and entrepreneurs to access financing and agri-advisory services and turn the challenge of bush encroachment into value addition opportunities,” Agribank Chief Executive Officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, said.
According to Team Leader of the GIZ/MAWF Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project, Johannes Laufs, a significant number of farmers have taken up alternative value chains, such as bush-based animal fodder production and charcoal production.
“This is partly driven by the dire need and partly by opportunities as membership in the sector associations has risen sharply from 250 to over 1,000 in the last two years,” Laufs said.
He further noted that an estimated 10,000 workers, representing about 1% of Namibia’s working population are now employed in bush control and biomass processing activities in the country.