Correct info on debushing loan
The FNB Debushing or Bush Encroachment or Clearing Loan is a 10-year loan with a 3-year capital holiday. Clients pay only interest for the first three years. From year four onward, capital and interest are payable over the remaining term of seven years.
On a N$1 million loan, the annual saving is N65,039 and for a N$3 million loan, the annual saving is N$195,117. Head of FNB Agri and Tourism, Christo Viljoen said “This is a first for Namibian agriculture and we truly believe that this will make a huge difference in combating bush encroachment” adding that FNB introduced this loan to assist farmers especially with the long term vision in support of economic growth as bush encroachment is ‘stealing’ from farmers.
“Our vision at the FNB Agri division is to continuously stay at the forefront of knowledge, product development and service delivery. We invest in agriculture on all levels to add value and share our knowledge and expertise.”
Viljoen explained “We wanted to offer an alternative financing option that would enable farmers to make it more feasible to do bush encroachment and over time increase their carrying capacity and eventually their profitability. It was evident that bush encroachment poses a serious threat to farming in Namibia. Not only is the estimated loss in meat production +/-N$1.4bn per annum, but there are other consequences as well. Invader bush leads to water loss and creates artificial droughts. A decrease in farm profitability causes a decline in employment. If one assume that it takes about three years for the veld that was cleared to be fully utilized again, then it makes sense to offer something in line with this occurrence,” he said.
FNB Agri said that any Namibian can apply for the FNB Debushing Loan. Normal credit application criteria are followed, and in the case of the farmers, this would include updated financial statements, cash flow projections and a technical report which the bank will assist with.
Each farmer’s application must be accompanied by a technical report which must include a map of the farm indicating the specific size and location of the targeted area to be treated. Inter alia, this report also covers items like long term rainfall, rainfall during the past rainy season, as well as estimated number and size of targeted species on the land specified. Other aspects are a Cost/Benefit analysis which including method of bush clearing with estimated cost/ha and total cost of programme, estimated expected benefits through increase of production during the next three to five years and an indication of how these benefits will be used to optimize carrying capacity.