Agribank, N-BiG ink 5-year MoU to boost development of local biomass industry
Agricultural lender, Agribank, and the Namibia Biomass Industry Group, this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Windhoek, where the duo agreed to cooperate in various areas and guide the successful implementation of activities/projects emanating from the identified areas of cooperation.
The MoU is valid for five years from August 2022 to July 2027, with the option for renewal at the end of the term.
The scope of the MoU includes that both parties are to cooperate in the development and amendment of financing products aimed at scaling-up projects in bush control and biomass utilization, as well as the sharing of data required to develop loan products that are responsive to market needs, a joint statement said.
Similarly, N-BiG is to provide expertise through the Advisory Service component, especially on risk assessment of bush control and biomass utilisation loans, in line with the Bank’s policies and regulations.
Other areas of cooperation include technical support in the development, outreach, and integration of bush control and biomass utilisation industry/farmers’ tools such as biomass quantification and feed formulation tools.
According to the statement, the MoU further states that the two institutions will host training for existing and prospective farmers, individuals, and SMEs interested in bush control and biomass utilisation activities, including current Agribank loan holders, while monitoring and evaluating bush control and biomass utilisation activities is also another identified area of cooperation.
During the signing ceremony, Agribank’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Raphael Karuaihe, stated that “signing an MoU with N-BiG, as an industry association in the local biomass sector, comes at an opportune time since Agribank is in the process of rolling out its biomass value chain financing scheme, that was operationalized earlier this year to meet the loan book diversification objective
of the Bank. Therefore, as a Bank, we are delighted to be in this partnership since it talks directly to our strategic objectives.”
On behalf of N-BiG, the Chief Executive, Progress Kashandula, described the MoU as “a major milestone in the development efforts of the bush biomass sector in Namibia, through a public-private cooperation approach. Furthermore, the biomass sector holds potential to contribute to socio-economic development and an inclusive bioeconomy for Namibia.”
Currently, the biomass industry as a whole has the potential to improve the streamflow of underground water, refine rangeland productivity, create sustainable employment, and serve as an opportunity for farmers to diversify revenue streams. In addition, the industry will promote climate-smart agricultural practices.