1300 benefit from Agribank loans

Otis Daniels_Finck
Windhoek ∙ [email protected]

Agribank disbursed loans to the value of N$217 million, benefiting a total number of 1 301 customers, during the financial year 2020/2021.

This is contained in the bank’s annual report for the 2020/2021 financial year, which was submitted to finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi and public enterprise minister Leon Jooste at its AGM.

According to Agribank, of the total more than N$200 million in loans disbursed, N$44 million exclusively benefited female clients. That is compared to N$21 million the previous financial year.

N$39 million was lent exclusively to the youth, while N$13 million was lent to communal farmers without collateral.

“Despite the uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank has delivered solid financial results for a fifth consecutive year,” the report states.

During the period under review, Agribank’s total loan book increased by 2%, while interest income increased by 1.2%.

This, the bank said, was owed to prudent financial management coupled with an increase in the bank’s money market investments.

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It further added that expenses were contained at 6% and the operating surplus decreased by 30.9% to N$37.2 million in line with market conditions.

Total assets grew by 12.2%, from N$3.1 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year to N$3.4 billion in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Meeting promises

According to the bank, a total of 13 948 farmers countrywide benefited from training and mentorship interventions by the bank, which was an increase from 8 035 during the previous period.

“These interventions are aimed at skill and knowledge transfer as well as changing attitudes towards farming as a business, while also promoting relationships between clients and the bank,” said Agribank.

It added that during the period under review, the bank delivered on the promises made to the shareholder at last year’s AGM.

These included delivering credible financial results for sustainability, smooth transition of the board and CEO for business continuity and ensuring alignment of stakeholder expectations regarding the bank’s mandate and sustainable operations.

Going forward, the bank promised the shareholder to bring about reduction in arrears ratios from 24% to 22%, embedding the loan application automation system, implementing a hybrid cloud solution and using robotics for improved administrative efficiencies.

This is in addition to the high-level projects encapsulated in the new five-year strategic plan of the bank.