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Business / Economics

Agribank rolls out drought relief plan

todayJuly 10, 2024 23

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Namibia’s agricultural lender, Agribank, has launched its drought relief subsidy, as announced by Hon. Iipumbu Shiimi, Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, in his February 2024 budget speech. Effective today, 10 July 2024, the relief will come in the form of installment relief and a penalty interest waiver for clients.

According to the bank’s spokesperson, Fillemon Nangonya the first intervention focuses on Agribank clients with farmland and livestock loan accounts, targeting those in good standing whose installments are due between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025. Clients in arrears from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, will also be eligible. Qualifying accounts will receive full credits as installments become due, with immediate credits for past-due accounts. This intervention involves a commitment of N$104.6 million.

 

 

Nangonya adds that the second intervention is a goodwill gesture, waiving penalty interest amounting to approximately N$83 million for the financial year April 2024 to March 2025 for all clients in arrears.

 

 

Agribank’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Raphael Karuaihe said, “We are facing challenging times for both our clients and the bank. We want both to survive and are trying to balance many considerations to ensure our clients receive some scope to make it through this difficult period.”

Dr. Karuaihe stressed that the bank’s primary source of sustainable funds is client loan repayments, making it financially unviable to extend the same relief to all clients at this time. He acknowledged that while the installment relief may not reach every affected farmer, waiving penalty interest aims to provide significant relief. Agribank will continue to engage flexibly with individual clients to find suitable solutions in line with the bank’s policies and procedures.

Written by: Tonata Kadhila

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