16 Apr 2014 09:40am
WINDHOEK, 16 APR (NAMPA) The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (AgriBank)s Chief Executive Officer Leonard Iipumbu says the banks current loan-book stands at N.dollars 2.4 billion.
He revealed this at the one-day Organisation of African Unity(OAU)/Africa Union (AU) Golden Jubilee conference underway with the theme Women, Agriculture and Food Security in the capital on Tuesday.
Iipumbu explained that this loan-book includes money which went to Namibians as loans for agricultural purposes.
With this provision of credit or loans to Namibian farmers, over 30 000 permanent jobs and 70 000 temporary jobs were created.
The bank is currently also offering credit for preferred products such as land acquisition as well as crop and horticultural production, amongst others.
Iipumbu said only a few Namibian women applied for agricultural loans from the bank for individual agricultural projects.
The main challenge facing women to access credit is the issue of collateral, he noted.
The bank is furthermore working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to assist people without collateral through the Loan Guarantee Fund (LGF).
This Fund was established to assist those do not have collateral as a requirement to acquire loans from AgriBank, but who have to register with the LGF as a cooperative.
Speaking at the same occasion, UNDP WHAT IS UNDP?
representative and UN Resident Coordinator Musinga Bandora said agriculture and food security are the main catalysts to job creation and eradication of poverty in Africa.
Bandora said Africa has a growth of about 6.1 per cent of food security but high rate of malnutrition.
He noted that Africa is consuming 50 per cent of food it produces and 50 per cent of imported food.
Africa faces challenges of low implementation of government policies and limited agricultural institutions, Bandora said.
He said there is a need to empower small farmers in order to strength agricultural capacity and promote regional integration.
The conference was attended by government ministers, regional councilorsDOUBLE L
, governors, farmers and civil society representatives.