Namibian Agronomics Board (NAB) has confirmed its partnership with Agribank to help the agronomic and horticulture industries grow by financing operations and connecting them to markets.
The development was confirmed by NAB spokesperson Emilie Abraham recently.
The partnership’s goal, according to Agri-bank public relations officer Fillemon Nangonya, will be to build capacity for small-scale farmers.
Nangonya said the two institutions will make an announcement soon, though he couldn’t give specifics about the partnership.
“Funding is imperative for any agronomy and horticulture business to get off the ground. Entering a memorandum of understanding/partnership with Agribank is very key in the development of the agronomic and horticulture value chain,” she said.
Agribank finances agricultural producers in the country through different loan products, while NAB promotes the sector and facilitates the production and marketing of controlled products in the country.
The board also ensures that the market share promotion threshold of importers sourcing 47% local produce is maintained.
Nangonya said the bank is inundated with enquiries from members of the public on how to apply for an Agribank loan and which loan products they are eligible for.
“The public is assured that Agribank exists to serve all Namibians with interest in agribusiness to enhance growth in agriculture, ensure national food security, promote sustainable employment, and improve overall economic growth,” he said.
Nangonya added that Agribank had introduced various schemes with distinct features, through which individuals can access loan products.
“These features serve as guidelines for individuals considering taking up Agribank loans to promote agriculture-related projects in the country.
“Once a potential client approaches Agribank, such a client undergoes a screening process to determine the scheme through which he/she may apply.”
There are four schemes through which a client may apply for a loan, he added.
If one is employed but does not own a fixed property to offer as collateral, they can apply for financing under the no-collateral loan scheme, and repayments will be deducted directly from his/her salary monthly.
“In this case, the employer of such a client must have a signed pay-roll deduction agreement with Agribank,” Nangonya added.
A full-time communal farmer, who has no fixed assets to offer as collateral is advised to apply for a loan under the emerging retail financing product scheme.
The third scheme is for clients who own property they can offer as collateral like a house, farmland with title deeds, undeveloped even or fixed investments.
Should a client be between 18 and 35 years, or be a woman or an agri-professional (no age limits), they can be financed under the women and youth loan scheme.
“Under this scheme, the bank offers unsecured loans to individuals or entities who do not have collateral, but have an off-take agreement,” Nangonya added.
For each scheme, there are also general requirements, including that applicants have a clean credit record, be full- or part-time farmers and be Namibian citizens.