The Agricultural Bank (Agribank) has announced a package of relief and stimulus measures, which already came into effect on 1 June 2020.

In a media statement the bank said that the package was developed after an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector, as well as the bank’s shareholder.

One of the package items is the “installment relief”. The relief consists of the following benefits to farmers:

To qualify, clients will have to apply for the relief and demonstrate that they have been affected by Covod-19.

Clients will be treated on a case-by-case basis upon merit. The installment holiday will be for a period of 12 months. This means that it is from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021, Agribank clients who will qualify for this relief measure will not be mandated to pay their annual installment.

The repayment holiday applies to capital and interest on that installment. The installment will be capitalized, and an additional year will be added to the client’s loan term. Clients receiving the relief, who wish to keep to their original loan term, are free to do so.

Existing arrears will not be capitalized but the penalty interest applicable to such arrears will be reduced from 2% to 1.5% during the relief period (i.e. the 12 months) after which period the penalty interest will revert to the original 2%.

If a client has qualified for relief, the installment holiday will apply to all loans which a client might have with the bank. Normal loan payments will resume after the installment holiday period.

Full collateral cover of the loans is to be maintained. Application forms will be available at all Agribank branches as well as on-line on the bank’s website.

“As a caring partner, Agribank would like to invite farmers to make use of the relief and stimulus measures put in place. We see this as an opportunity for our clients to re-set their farming business operations and are pleased to be able to extend a helping hand to them in these challenging times,” said Agribank’s CEO Mr Sakaria Nghikembua.