The Agricultural Bank of Namibia will finance the purchase of female breeding stock as a way of boosting production in the northern communal areas of the country.
This was contained in the year-long agreement Agribank signed with the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) two weeks ago.
In terms of the agreement, Agri- bank will purchase the breeding stock from the NDC’s Kavango Cattle Ranch (KCR), a statement issued by the bank said.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Agribank chief executive officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, said the agreement is just one of many initiatives that the bank has taken to widen 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 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.
To ensure that more farmers benefit from the agreement, each farmer will be financed for a maximum 15 head of cattle.
The purchase price of the cattle shall be either 80% 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 kilogramme, whichever is the higher.
Financing will be subject to Agribank’s credit policy and upon approval, final livestock selection will be done between NDC and the farmer.
The ownership of the livestock will pass on to the farmer and the animals will be released into his/her custody. NDC will then invoice Agribank for payment which will be made directly to the NDC.
The acting managing director of NDC, Pieter de Wet, echoed Nghikembua’s sentiments and added that as development partners 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 after 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.
He said, the partnership between Agribank and NDC gives real meaning to the empowerment of people at grass-roots 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.