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A small loan goes a long way for better produce

Sam Matheus (left), a level 1 student from NIMT Tsumeb on a six-month work attachment at Komeho Namibia’s Okongo Appropriate Rural Technology Centre, demonstrates the power and ease of operation of a walking tractor to Okongo constituency counciilor, Paulus Mwahanyekange. The walking tractor is one of the large range of agricultural equipment offered by Komeho and financed by Kongalend through its new Lima Power loan product.

Sam Matheus (left), a level 1 student from NIMT Tsumeb on a six-month work attachment at Komeho Namibia’s Okongo Appropriate Rural Technology Centre, demonstrates the power and ease of operation of a walking tractor to Okongo constituency counciilor, Paulus Mwahanyekange. The walking tractor is one of the large range of agricultural equipment offered by Komeho and financed by Kongalend through its new Lima Power loan product.

The event attracted people from all over the Ohangwena region as well as Okavango West keen to learn, first-hand, about the various development-centred products, services and support offered by the three partners. They were not disappointed.
Kongalend has, over the last three years, staged similar mini-expos as part of its commitment to bring services to the people. These have included events in Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop, Outapi and Rundu.
Okongo, deep in the eastern Ohangwena region, one the regions most affected by this year’s devastating drought, was specially chosen as the latest locality which saw the launch of Kongalend’s new agri-business loan product, the Lima Power loan.
In keeping with its institutional conviction that development is a collective responsibility, Kongalend does not do things alone but brings together a coalition of partners to, together, organise these development pop-up shops.

Thus, the Okongo event was a public celebration of the partnership Kongalend has forged with CLUSA Namibia (and its implementing partner, Ondangwa-based Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions of Ezy Stove fame) and Komeho Namibia. It was also a chance for Kongalend to consolidate its long-standing partnership with Oshakati-based renewable energy technology supplier, Dezman Investments, whose efforts have been responsible for bringing light and energy to households all over the northern regions installing systems financed by Kongalend.
These relationships have been cemented to deliver practical solutions to challenges that inhibit progress – one of which is lack of access to finance.
Creation of such access was the stimulus for Kongalend’s new microfinance product – and its partnership with CLUSA Namibia and Komeho.
The Lima Power loan has been specially designed to provide access to much-needed capital for the acquisition of conservation agriculture-appropriate equipment, such as that manufactured, assembled and designed by Komeho, as well as inputs such as seeds and fertilisers.
Kongalend had learnt from Komeho of the growing demand for its appropriate agricultural technology from farmers in all the crop-producing regions of northern Namibia, from the Zambezi river to Omusati.
But many did not have adequate resources at hand to buy equipment on a cash basis; and urgently needed such equipment in the place of draught animals that had perished as a result of prolonged drought.
It signalled, as Kongalend Chairman, Tshoombe Ndadi, noted at the launch of the new loan product, “a marriage made in heaven: Komeho brings the technology and Namibia centred development experience.
CLUSA Namibia brings training not only in conservation agriculture techniques but also in basic business skills. Kongalend brings access to a basket of development-centred financial products, which includes its SMME loans.

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