Women and youth scheme launched

• Agribank promotes financial inclusion

22 October 2020 | Banking

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



A loan scheme with relaxed conditions for women and young people has been launched by Agribank to encourage their participation and enhance financial inclusion.

According to Agribank, the majority of women are unable to access affordable financing for farming purposes, while current financing for the youth is not at an optimal level.

The scheme is therefore flexible in that it provides relaxed conditions for funding.

The purpose of the scheme is to promote financial inclusion, economic empowerment, employment creation as well as to stimulate Namibia's economic growth, says Agribank.

Eligible candidates that are set to benefit from this scheme are women and young Namibians or permanent residents aged between 18 and 35 years. The entry age is capped at 18 years and in the case of partnerships, 80% of partners should be between the age of 18 to 35 years to qualify.

In the case of limited companies, 80% of the directors are required to be in the same age group, while the age limit for women and professionals in the agriculture and related fields is not limited. Other requirements of this scheme include business registration, licences or permits, as well as certificates of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association and identification documents for all the directors.

New and existing businesses are eligible, subject to financial viability and development impact.

According to Agribank, the target group can benefit from all the bank's loan products with the exception of debt take-over and debt consolidation, but preference will be given to climate resilient projects, agro-processing, poultry and intensive farming projects.



Opportunity

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, the deputy minister of information, Emma Theofelus, commended Agribank for initiating the scheme, noting that these financial solutions are developmental in nature.

“It is pleasing to know that Agribank has taken a bold step to encourage women and youth by designing a scheme that furthers the objectives of financial inclusion as you all are aware that agriculture is the backbone of our economy and a source of sustenance of many livelihoods in Namibia.”

She urged women and youth to use this opportunity provided by Agribank to empower themselves and become successful agri-preneurs. “Let us show our elders that we too can make a difference and that we can take up farming as a business, not only to sustain ourselves, but contribute to the national food security as well.”