01.09.2017 09:40 Age: 170 days

Agribank, NDC sign livestock financing deal

AGRIBANK and the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) have signed a one-year memorandum of understanding (MoU), in terms of which the bank will finance the purchasing of female breeding livestock by farmers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCA) from the NDC’s Kavango Cattle Ranch (KCR).

To ensure wider benefit to farmers, the MoU provides that the number of cattle to be financed through this financing agreement will be limited to 15 head of cattle per client.

The purchase price of the cattle shall be either 80 percent of the market value, as per weight class, which value is based on the prices obtained at the Grootfontein auction in the immediately preceding month, or a fixed rate of N$20 per kilogram, whichever is the higher.

Financing will be subject to Agribank’s credit policy, and upon approval, final livestock selection will be done between the NDC and the client. The ownership of the chosen livestock will pass on to the client and the animals will be released into their custody. NDC will then issue the final invoice to Agribank for payment. Such payment will be made directly to the NDC.

Speaking at the signing ceremony recently, Agribank Chief Executive Officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, noted that the MoU is just one of many initiatives that the bank has taken to widen the access of communal farmers to financing.

“As the agricultural bank, we have a duty to ensure inclusivity, so that we can make a bigger developmental impact in our country. Extending financing to farmers in the NCA will no doubt improve their production output, as food security at a household level is one of the expected outcomes of the socio-economic development pillar of our strategic plan. It is therefore imperative that we develop ways and means to cater for this distinct segment of our market”, Nghikembua said.

Acting NDC Managing Director, Pieter de Wet, echoed Nghikembua’s sentiments and reiterated that as development partners are accountable to the same sole shareholder, this effort of leveraging synergies could not have come at a more opportune time, when excellence is expected to take centre stage in agricultural production.

The NDC’s Kavango Cattle Ranch is located just above the veterinary line, with corridor status, and has been operating for more than 20 years, focusing on beef production.

“It is therefore only prudent that NDC participates in initiatives aimed at supporting communities in its areas of operation. Given the quality of animals produced at KCR, we are confident that sharing our top breeds with farmers in the NCA will go a long way in infusing quality genetic material in the northern regions”, De Wet said.

According to him, the partnership between Agribank and NDC gives real meaning to the empowerment of people at grassroots level and that hitherto excluded sectors of the community will now be afforded an opportunity, not only to enjoy ease of access to funding at affordable rates, but also to acquire quality breeding stock for improved agricultural output.