Farmers union calls Agribank relief programme criteria “unrealistic”
The Chairperson of the Previously Disadvantaged Namibian (PDN) Commercial Farmers Union, Jane Kuhanga has raised concern over the conditions set to qualify for Agribank’s COVID-19 relief programme, calling said conditions “unrealistic”.
Agribank has set out the following conditions required to qualify for the COVID-19 relief programme; 10% payment of arrears must be paid to be delisted, 20% payment of arrears must be paid to restructure your loan, 30% payment to stay court judgements must be paid and 1 year instalment grace period is in adequate.
In a letter addressed to the Chairperson of AgriBank of Namibia, Michael Iyambo, Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi and the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Calle Schletwein, Kuhanga noted her discontent with conditions set forth, requesting for all those conditions to reviewed or removed all together, saying they will serve the purpose at the very least for a 2-instalment grace period.
“The interest rate on the land makes the farming sum completed impossible, especially for us as previously disadvantaged farmers,” Kuhanga said.
Kuhanga believes such an action is opportune to preserve the gains of land reform and redistribution achieved so far, as they chart a new path of creating a more sustainable commercial farm land redistribution base for previously disadvantaged Namibians.
“We are prepared and would continue to engage the relevant AgriBank, Ministries and other stakeholders on this as a matter of urgency to try and find an amicable solution to it within the context of the ongoing review of the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme,” Kuhanga said.