THE Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has urged northern farmers to make use of the bank’s COVID-19 related relief and stimulus packages.
The bank has set aside an amount of N$200 million in loan forms to be disbursed to farmers affected by COVID-19.
Oshaha regional governor Elia Irimari, said the region remains one of the breadbaskets of the country with predominantly communal farmers and these farmers engage in meaningful agricultural activities from animal husbandry to crop production at subsistence level for livelihood.
However, Irimari stated that the persistent devastating droughts of yesteryears affected farm profitability to make out a living.
“There were hopes of returning to normalcy with the above-average rainfalls of last year, but the prevailing pandemic in the name of the invisible COVID-19 has hit us dashing those hopes becoming food self-sufficiency,” he said.
Irimari said that he was pleased to note that Agribank has introduced measures to assist in a small way with limited resources at its disposal to lessen the impact and navigate through these difficult circumstances.
“The pandemic is a wakeup call for us as a nation to strengthen financial support towards agriculture, to locally produce enough for not only for consumption but for export as well,” he added.
He urged Agribank to champion the process as the leading government institution in the financing of the agricultural sector, to ensure that they make agriculture more productive and sustainable.