Agribank subsidy doubles

Agribank will be able to make a bigger change in land ownership in Namibia with a larger budget allocation.

03 April 2019 | Agriculture

Government has more than doubled its budget allocation to Agribank for the 2019/20 financial year.

According to the Estimates of Revenue, Income and Expenditure report for April 2019 to March 2022 it is projected that government will subsidise Agribank with more than N$73.4 million during the new financial year.

In the previous two financial years the bank received a subsidy of N$30 million per year.

It is further estimated that by the 2021/22 financial year the amount will increase to more than N$98.4 million.

Agribank board chairperson Michael Iyambo said at the end of last year that according to their assessment, the bank requires a minimum of N$500 million annually over the next five years to make the desired land reform impact.

After that, funding levels can be reduced to N$300 million annually, to be supplemented by the bank's own cash flows.

Meanwhile, the budget allocation to the agriculture ministry for 2019/20 is N$1.9 billion.

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein said last week during budget speech that N$290 million had been allocated to the crop and horticulture programme under the ministry, of which N$96 million is targeted for the country's green scheme programme.

An amount of N$469 million was allocated for the water-generation and infrastructure refurbishment programme.

“This is for the purpose of increased productive capacity, increased efficiency and job-creation, in partnership with the private sector, and to enhance water security in the country.”

Noting the severe effects of climate change and the ensuing drought, he said a total of N$100 million will be allocated to the Emergency Fund.

He said the recurring El Niño conditions that manifest themselves in bouts of severe drought, affects agricultural output and industrial activities, which are highly dependent on water.

“The growth outlook for primary industries is significantly discounted by the expected contraction of the agricultural sector by 5.2% this year, as the severe drought takes its toll on the crop and livestock subsectors, as well as the continued contraction in the fisheries subsector.”





ELLANIE SMIT

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