Namibia’s premier agricultural lender, Agribank, has announced that its recently launched biomass value chain financing scheme is now available to the public.

According to the bank’s public relations officer Mr Fillemon Nangonya, the scheme is aimed at meeting the strategic objective of loan book diversification coupled with the Bank’s mission to continuously offer innovative agricultural financing solutions.

The Biomass industry has the potential to improve the streamflow of underground water, refine rangeland productively, create sustainable employment and serve as an opportunity for farmers to engage in diversification of revenue streams.

In addition, the industry will promote climate smart agricultural practices.

Under this Biomass value chain financing scheme, an applicant (legal entity or individual) can be the owner of the farm or leasing a farm from which he or she can harvest biomass to produce charcoal.

The applicant can also be a processor who buys charcoal to process and pack for the end market (i.e. retail shops/ restaurants or export/import companies for charcoal.)

“Both applicants are required to have a permit from the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry, in order to harvest the biomass for charcoal,” says Nangonya.

“For charcoal producers, the facility offers loans for working capital (including food rations for the employees), tractors/trailers, storage sheds, de-bushing equipment, workers housing including clean water and sanitation.

“As for charcoal processors, financing of working capital, general equipment and vehicles, maintenance workshop, office to operate from, charcoal processing plant, warehouse and equipment is offered. “

In the photo: A de-bushing exercise.