Namibia: Agribank Bush Control Project Extended

WINDHOEK -- Agribank, the ministry of agriculture/GIZ have extended their cooperation in bush control and biomass utilisation for two years, with effect from 28 November 2019.

The extension was done through a memorandum of understanding in the capital, replacing that of September 2017 which expired this year, Agribank's manager for marketing and communication, Rino Muranda, said in a statement.

He highlighted that through the old agreement, joint training events on bush control and biomass utilisation were held while increased efforts of the project in bush control and biomass utilisations were realised.

He said other achievements include the establishment of a technical working group on financing and/or incentivising bush control and biomass utilisation activities and training of trainers on bush control and biomass utilisation.

Muranda explained that the new agreement reflects the parties' intention to extend and strengthen their collective activities.

"These include the development of financing products aimed at scaling-up projects in bush control and biomass utilisation and other areas such as risk assessment of applicable loans, sharing of relevant information, hosting of capacity building activities for farmers and SMEs as well as current loan holders, and monitoring and evaluation of bush control and biomass utilisation activities by loan holders," Muranda noted.

Agribank chief executive officer, Sakaria Nghikembua is quoted in the statement as saying the extension of the agreement will enable them to help more farmers and entrepreneurs to access financing and agri-advisory services and turn the challenge of bush encroachment into value addition opportunities.

Team leader of the GIZ/MAWF bushcontrol and biomass utilisation project Johannes Laufs expressed confidence that the new agreement will set the two institutions at the forefront of bush biomass activities, specifically on access to finance.

"Our strengths as a development agency is in providing the necessary technical assistance to enable Namibian institutions, such as Agribank, to tackle challenges of bush encroachment, thereby contributing to economic development and fostering a new economic sector," he said. - Nampa.

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