Treat farming as a business: Agribank

03 Mar 2015 17:40pm
GOBABIS, 03 MAR (NAMPA) – The chairperson of Agribank Board of Directors, Tertu Uuyuni has urged farmers in the Omaheke Region to treat farming as a business in order to “turn their fortunes around”.
Uuyuni said Agribank is prepared to advance loans to small-scale farmers in communal areas to allow their farming activities to get off the ground.
She made the remarks during a stakeholders’ consultative meeting here last week Wednesday.
The meeting was aimed at providing a platform for the bank to interact with its major stakeholders in the region, so as to exchange views on best practices and lessons learned in the farming sector.
Uuyuni said the agriculture sector has a huge potential to lessen Namibia’s dependency on the imports of foodstuff to feed the nation.
She noted however that such status for the country can only be achieved if farmers change their mindsets on farming by converting it into thriving businesses.
The chairperson said that the country has great potential for more fresh produce hubs and grain storage facilities as part of the government’s green scheme programme, urging farmers to tap into these opportunities.
“These facilities are there to be utilised, not only as a means of gaining food security but also to create wealth for the country’s citizens,” she said.
Agribank boasts a client base of close to 13 000, representing N.dollars 2.7 billion in loans.
A total of 51 per cent of this figure (approximately N.dollars 1.4 billion) represents loans advanced to commercial farmers, while 14 per cent (about N.dollars 378 million) are loans advanced to communal farmers.
Agribank started in 1907 as the Deutsch-Sudwestafrikanischer Farmerbund. In April 1922, the Land and Agricultural Bank of South West Africa was established.
The Landbank Act No. 13/1944, as amended, provided the legal framework for regulating the business of the bank.
In 1991, by virtue of the Agricultural Bank Amendment Act No. 27, the name Land and Agricultural Bank of South West Africa was changed to the Agricultural Bank of Namibia.
The Agricultural Bank of Namibia Act No. 5 of 2003, as amended, was promulgated in order to expand the scope of business to capitalize on opportunities in the market and transform the institution to become more versatile and responsive to all stakeholders in order to meet the demands of the ever-changing business environment.