AGRIBANK hosted a stakeholder engagement event at Gobabis last Wednesday, bringing together agriculture stakeholders in the region to consult and engage on how best to serve farmers in the cattle country.
According to a statement issued by the bank yesterday, the engagement was part of Agribank’s new CEO Raphael Karuaihe’s core duties during his first 100 days in office.
Farmers’ union representatives were part of the engagement, and presented their challenges, while also proposing solutions.
The representatives said due to drought, membership of the union has disintegrated, as each farmer is focused on the survival of his/her farm, resulting in less peer-to-peer interactions.
“Farmers are proposing that Agribank champions events that will bring them together, and shares information that addresses the various challenges they face,” Agribank said.
They also proposed that the bank issues certificates of attendance and/or accreditation to farmers, who attend training sessions facilitated by the bank.
“The farmers believe this will help when they apply for resettlement farms from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform,” said Agribank.
Farmers also encouraged synergies between key stakeholders in the region, to ensure that service delivery is addressed.
During the engagement, Agribank loan application processes and requirements were discussed, while the executive manager for marketing and customer strategy, Regan Mwazi, responded to some of the issues raised.
“It is only through stakeholder engagements that solutions to local challenges can be provided and opportunities identified for the benefit of the farming industry,” he said.
Manager of horticulture market development at the Namibia Agronomic Board, Emilie Abraham, expressed satisfaction with the meeting, noting that it provided context on the responsibilities of individual stakeholders, while also clarifying such functions in the chain of helping farmers, and growing the sector.
The following institutions were represented: Omaheke Regional Council, farmers unions and associations, Namibia Agronomic Board, Meat Board of Namibia, Police Stock Theft Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Witvlei Village Council, and the Namibia Biomass Industry Group.