By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
Agribank has extended the farmland loan repayment period by five years for the youth (under 35 years of age) who seek loans to buy agricultural land or expand their existing farms.
The agricultural financier’s spokesperson Fillemon Nangonya said this week in a press release.
According to Nangonya, all Namibians who are 35 years of age and below planning to purchase farmland through Agribank financing will now have up to 30 years to repay their farmland loans.
This represents a five-year extension from the usual 25-year period applicable to all clients regardless of their age.
However, after the review, those above 35 years of age will repay their loans within 25 years, while the youth will repay after 35 years.
Nangonya explained that the change is prompted by the bank’s financial inclusion agenda with a special focus on youth.
Under the farmland purchase loan product, capital will be advanced to purchase farmland and/ or additional land for agriculture-related activities that are instrumental in adding real enterprise value to the national economy.
The package is tailored for farmers seeking to ensure a well-developed and productive land utilisation for food security and job creation.
The benefits of long-dated loans are that one has a significant number of years to repay the loan, and as a result, their monthly/annual instalment can be less compared to those with fewer years to repay.
At the same time, allow reinvestment rather than spending a significant amount on debt repayment.
The notion of extending the repayment period for the youth has also basis on the fact that the youth have a bit of time in terms of the working ages to advance their efficiency and operation compared to those above 35 years of age.
Over the past few years, Agribank has embarked on an inclusive youth journey providing youth-friendly terms and conditions.
In 2020, the pro-youth drive led to the Women and Youth Loan Scheme (W&Y), targeted at youth (both men and women) of 35 years and below, women of all age categories, agri-professionals both full-time and part-time farmers.
Under the W&Y scheme, the target group is offered flexible collateral financing options, such as salary-backed loans, whereby repayment can be through payroll deduction, contract financing, and 100% loan-to-value collateral.
Contract financing requires an off-take agreement between the applicant and a potential buyer/off-take at the time of loan application.
This requires a tripartite agreement between the client, buyer, and Agribank to be signed once the loan is granted.
The recent product review exercise added a provision of a debit order for the W&Y scheme, applicable when the payroll deduction agreement between employers and Agribank is not in place and subject to the client’s affordability.
All applications are subjected to due diligence and the bank’s credit policy.