The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has expressed regret at the four-year delay in the implementation of the long-awaited Emerging Retail Financing Product (ERFP).
The bank’s chief executive officer Sakaria Nghikembua recently announced that the process is still underway while in the same light assuring farmers of the bank’s best intensions with regard to the roll-out of this collateral-free loan product.
“In response to market demand for collateral-free products, Agribank undertook to introduce ERFP in late 2015. [At the time] Agribank invited applications from interested emerging farmers, who demonstrated significant interest in the product,” Nghikembua explained.
“Subsequent to this process, new developments necessitated a comprehensive review of the product and the timing of its launch. In light of this delay, Agribank wishes to inform applicants and potential clients that the review process remains underway to mitigate emergent risks and fine-tune the bank’s targeted approach to farmers.”
According to Nghikembua, Agribank remains committed to finding innovative solutions to ensure the financing of emerging communal farmers who do not have the traditional fixed-property collateral.
He added that this is in furtherance of the bank’s stated intent of helping to transform the agricultural sector, improve productivity in agriculture and contribute to the attainment of food self-sufficiency in Namibia.
“Towards this end, innovative financing solutions will be implemented in phases and all stakeholders will be kept informed of all developments,” he added.