Namibia: Agribank Extends Relief to Indebted Farmers

May 13, 2019 | Namibian; All Africa

THE Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has offered farmers in arrears with payments a debt relief package that requires them to pay 45% of the arrears, and the bank would capitalise the balance.

According to a statement from Agribank chief executive officer Sackaria Nghikembua last week, the relief package comes into effect today, and those who want to benefit from it should approach the bank to conclude agreements.

The bank has been struggling to recover more than N$500 million in loans extended to farmers, and had to enlist the services of debt collectors in 2017.

By capitalising the balance on arrears, the bank would not consider the farmers to be behind with installments.

Agribank has put three options on the table as debt relief since most farmers have been defaulting.

According to Nghikembua, the bank would also give the farmers two additional years to settle the debts.

"Once a client has settled 45% of the arrears, they will also be delisted from the credit bureau if the bank had listed them," he said in the statement.

For those who cannot pay the required 45% at once, they had until 30 September to do so.

He added that farmers who cannot afford to settle the total debt within a year can pay 60%, and then the bank would capitalise the balance, as well as give them an additional two years to pay up.

"The relief option makes it easier for the clients. In the normal course of repayment, the client would have had to pay off the entire 100% of arrears before they can be delisted," Nghikembua said.

Agribank will also extend drought relief loans to farmers who would have met the relief package requirements.

The drought relief loans could also be used to buy fodder, drill or rehabilitate boreholes, and any other activity that benefits the farmers. Read more on All Africa

Source: All Africa