WINDHOEK (The Southern Africa Times) – In its quest to assist women and youth in Agriculture, Agribank disbursed loans to the value of N$43 million towards women, while another N$38.7 million benefited the youth as clients under 40 years of age during the 2020/21 financial year.
In a media statement, Agribank said more than N$36 million worth of loans were disbursed to companies and groups during the reporting period, which also included female beneficiaries.
“Agribank is determined on increasing the participation of women and youth in the agricultural sector – and towards this goal, the Bank implemented a specific loan scheme targeting women and youth since October last year,” it said.
The women and youth loan scheme is different from the conventional funding of the Bank, as it offers distinct terms and conditions. These terms and conditions include the provision of farming equipment or land being financed as collateral.
Additionally, where the farmer has an off-take agreement with buyers of his/her agricultural produce, such an agreement can also serve as collateral.
Moreover, under the scheme, the Bank is also offering special treatment for agricultural professionals, flexible grace periods and tolerance for collateral shortfalls.
“Under this scheme, qualifying women and youth may access various loan products for agricultural purposes within the categories of short-, medium- and long-term loans, repayable between 1-5 years, 5-10 years and 10 -25 years, respectively,” the bank noted.
Women from the age of 18 years and above as well as youth between 18 and 35 years qualify under the women and youth loan scheme. However, for agricultural professionals, there is no limit on age and gender.
Women and youth are, therefore, hereby informed that the Bank will resume the nationwide roadshow to engage women and youth in agriculture and provide insight into various loan products under the Women and Youth loan scheme, while explaining the loan application process in detail.
“Agribank is a financial services provider that plays a key role in the economic activity of the agricultural sector in creating and growing wealth for sustained economic development,” the statement reads.