The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has reported a successful year on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, giving out loans to the value of N$217 million, benefiting a total number of 1,301 customers, and delivering solid financial results for a fifth consecutive year.

The bank reports in its 2020/21 financial report released today that it has recorded a surplus of N$37 million.

Agribank reports further that a total of 13,948 farmers country-wide benefitted from training and mentorship interventions by the bank during the period that was made up of lockdowns, curfews, and various restrictions.

“Section 21 (1) of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia Act, 5 of 2003, requires the Board to as soon as possible, but not later than six months after the end of the financial year, submit to the Minister an annual report,” said Agribank’s manager for marketing and communications Mr Rino Muranda in a statement.

Muranda said that the board together with management of the bank presented the annual report to the government as the shareholder, represented by the Ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), that took place on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Agribank is a development finance institution whose mandate is to lend money to individuals, business entities or financial intermediaries for the promotion of agriculture and related activities.

During the period under review, the bank disbursed loans as follows:

  • Loans to the value of N$217 million for a total 1,301 customers,
  • Of this amount, a total of N$44 million exclusively benefitted female clients compared to N$21 million in the previous financial year,
  • An amount of N$39 million was lent exclusively to the youth,
  • While N$13 million was lent to communal farmers without collateral.

“Despite the uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bank has delivered solid financial results for a fifth consecutive year,” said Muranda.

“During the period under review, Agribank’s total loan book increased by 2%, while interest income increased by 1.2% owing to the prudent financial management coupled with an increase in the Bank’s money market investments.

“Expenses were contained at 6% and the operating surplus decreased by 30.9% to N$37.2 million in line with market conditions. Total assets grew by 12.2% from N$3.1 billion in 2019/2020 financial year, to N$3.4 billion in the 2020/2021 financial year.”

In terms of governance and prudential management, the bank is said to have achieved an overall score of 82.2% on the prudential standards rating based on the audited assessment during the 2020/21 financial year.

According to Muranda, this reflects effective controls, operational efficiencies, prudent financial management and good corporate governance across the business.

“During the period under review, the Bank has delivered on the promises made to the shareholder, during last year’s AGM. Some of these include, delivering credible financial results for sustainability, smooth transition of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for business continuity and to ensure alignment of stakeholder expectations regarding the Bank’s mandate and sustainable operations.

“Going forward, the Bank promised the shareholder to bring about reduction in arrears ratios from 24% to 22%, embedding the loan application automation system, implementing the hybrid cloud solution and use of robotics for improved administrative efficiencies. This is in addition to the high-level projects encapsulated in the new five-year strategic plan of the Bank.”

In the photo: Acting CEO of Agribank Mr Louis Du Toit, who took over in August after the departure of Mr Sakaria Nghikembua who had been at the helm for the past five years.