After introducing the new bush-clearing loan to the market in 2013, First National Bank of Namibia (FNB), through its Agri division, urges farmers to continue making use of its opportunity again this year.
FNB Namibia’s bush-clearing loan, is a first for Namibian agriculture, and according to FNB Agri and Tourism head, Christo Viljoen, the product was well received by farmers especially the last three months of 2013.
“In 2014, we will continue our drive to find products and solutions tailor-made to the industry under which agriculture falls. We understand the challenges of being a farmer and our visibility, knowledge and hands-on involvement has not gone unnoticed. Together with our clients, we are extremely thankful for the rainfall thus far and the fact that meat prices have seen an increase again due to supply and demand,” Viljoen says.
According to FNB Namibia, bush encroachment poses a serious threat to farming in Namibia, as there is an estimated loss of meat production of about N$1.4b per annum.
This invader bush can lead to water loss and create artificial droughts. Decrease in farm profitability can also reduce unemployment in the agriculture sector.
Agriculture contributes 5.1% to Namibia’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2011, this was 4.7%. Agriculture is also the largest employer with 27% of the national workforce (173 000 of 630 000).