Agricultural loan disbursements by Agribank increased by 40% in the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year, compared to the same period the previous financial year.

According to the bank’s spokesperson Fillemon Nangonya, the recorded increase is mainly driven by triple digit growth in farmland loans as well as livestock loans.

He said the total loans advanced for the first quarter under review amounted to N$74.3 million.

This is compared to the N$46.9 million in loans advanced for the first quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year.

“In addition to the farmland and livestock loans, impressive growth was also noted under the crop sector, mainly propelled by crop production loans to irrigation farmers, specifically in the Otjozondjupa Region,” Nangonya said.

Loan-book diversification

This supports the bank’s strategy of loan-book diversification, he added.

Nangonya said loan distribution by gender and age categories shows that men continue to dominate the loans advanced, accounting for 59% in the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year, compared to 46% in the corresponding quarter in the previous financial year.

Loans advanced to women accounted for 18% in the first quarter of this financial year, which is a decline compared to 30% in the corresponding quarter in the 2022/2023 financial year.

“Groups and companies accounted for 23%, which include men and women,” Nangonya noted.

In terms of loans advanced by age, 35% of the loans were taken up by individual farmers between 31 and 40.

Catalyst role

As the private sector credit extension picked up, Agribank observed an increase in the agricultural extension market share of 46% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 45% the previous year.

According to the spokesperson, this increase could be attributed to the competitive loan terms offered by the bank amidst a rising interest rate environment.

“As a national development finance institution, Agribank will continue to play a catalyst role in addressing key national development issues such as food security, poverty reduction and employment creation within the agriculture space.”

Nangonya said Agribank strives to ensure inclusive development by empowering smallholder and large commercial farmers through access to tailored agricultural loans, training as well as advisory services.

[Source – Republikein]

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