WINDHOEK - More than N$26,4 million worth of loans were approved for 147 clients of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia during the second quarter of 2012.
The values of the approved loans were however 51 percent lower than the loans approved in the first quarter of the year. The decrease is owed to “depressed prices for livestock which resulted in the decreases of livestock marketed as a result of the closure of some abattoirs in the country due to suspected foot and mouth disease,” Agribank said.
The other factors were the high cost of production inputs, especially fuel, fertilisers and the rising costs of electricity. Livestock, which is the main activity, performed relatively well during the second quarter with 58 percent of the loans going towards livestock purchasing and 15 percent of the loans towards purchasing of commercial land.
A significant portion of approved loans, about 65 percent were under the National Agriculture Credit Programme, followed by 32 percent of the loans under commercial loans and 5 percent under Affirmative Action Loan Scheme.
Agribank says it has also trained 2 177 small-scale farmers in communal areas in all 13 regions of the country under the Farmers Support Project; provided mentorship to 299 Affirmative Action Loan Scheme farmers and 629 farmers who have been resettled. The farmers received mentorship and training in “modern farming skills to enable them to meet the daunting challenges of sustainable food production, wealth creation and value addition in the agriculture sector.”
An additional 1 820 farmers benefited from short courses, farmers days, and excursions offered by the Farmers Support Project during the second quarter of the year.