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Agribank and KfW Development Bank commit to bolstering agriculture or food processing industries

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Agribank and KfW Development Bank have forged a landmark partnership, sealing a groundbreaking concessional loan exceeding N$400 million. This historic collaboration intends to bolster farmers, both communal and commercial, along with micro, small, and medium (MSM enterprises working in agriculture or food processing.

Under this agreement, Agribank will channel the funds to support small-scale farmers and MSM enterprises engaged in primary agriculture and agro-processing,  to enable them to expand their agricultural or food processing ventures, boosting incomes and enhancing food production.

Moreover, the project promotes the adoption of sustainable and resource-conserving agricultural practices for long-term viability.

In addition to the loan agreement, Agribank, the National Planning Commission, and KfW Development Bank have also signed a grant agreement of over N$20 million, earmarked to enhance Agribank’s technical and institutional capabilities.

During the signing ceremony, Ulrike Metzger, Head of German Development Cooperation remarked that “We all know, there is a lack of access to credit financing in rural areas, especially for young farmers, women and farmers on communal land. This prevents necessary investments to increase productivity and secure income for rural families.”

Metzger emphasized that by supporting Agribank with this credit line, they aim to uplift rural livelihoods, alleviate poverty, and stimulate income and employment opportunities.

Echoing these sentiments, KfW Country Director, Beatrice Lucke, emphasized the existence of a significant informal economy in Namibia, including subsistence farming, which remains excluded from formal market participation. The joint aim of Agribank and German Development Cooperation is to bridge this gap, facilitating improved access to tailored financial services for farmers, agricultural entities, and food processing MSMEs.

Raphael Karuaihe, Agribank’s Chief Executive, hailed the loan agreement as a pivotal moment, marking the institution’s unwavering commitment to sustainable and long-term funding for agricultural development. Karuaihe underscored Agribank’s critical role in supporting the sector’s growth and highlighted its dedication to introducing innovative and inclusive loan products catering to diverse segments, such as schemes for women, youth, and collateral-free loans.

Expressing gratitude to KfW for their confidence in this new partnership, Karuaihe emphasized the shared goal of enhancing Agribank’s financial inclusion agenda for underserved market segments.