Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro Otjiuarongo-Despite a slow start to the day with farmers only trickling in one by one later than the expected time of 07h00 in the morning the activities were scheduled to have started, when the first Epukiro Farmers Day for a long time eventually started around midday, a good five hours after it was scheduled to have started, it proved worth it, with the farmers showing an active interest in the subjects presented by posing pertinent questions on each topic. Also, the event attracted only a limited but not negligible number of farmers, raising questions why it was held in this village, which many considered far-flung and not centra, such as Omauezonjanda or Post 3. Still, some of the farmers felt in view of the fact that on Friday and Saturday, Omauezonjanda, considered in many respects the hub of the constituency, hosted the constituency’s annual show, the 24th this year, it would have been ideal if the Farmers Day last Thursday was also hosted there. Despite this, the farmers who attended proved too much to handle with their obvious burning interest in the topics presented, as evidenced by the number of questions, as well as the wisdom of their content. The first presentation was by Mekupi Hengari from the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) which focused on especially the non-collateral loans the bank offers and how farmers, especially communal farmers who formed the bulk of the attendants, could benefit from this facility. Hengari emphasised that the loan is available to any activity related to farming. However, with its emphasis on regular income, like someone showing with a pay-slip to prove that she/he has a regular income, the communal farmers felt that this facility does not seem to be of any benefit to them. They thus pleaded with the bank’s representative for a product of benefit to them. In this regard one of the farmers reminded the bank’s representative of it raising their expectation a few years back by bringing the bank closer to them. In this regard the farmers were requested to provide business plans. They parted with a few Namibian dollars in this regard to have such plans prepared, but nothing has come of this since. Hengari admitted to the bank’s plan hitting a political snag, with Cabinet blocking it. He told the assembled farmers that the bank was not sleeping, nor has this plan been shelved but that the bank was still thinking about. Another matter of interest to the farmers was when the bank is going to open a branch in Gobabis, to which the Agribank representative could not give an answer. He also informed the farmers that when buying a farm they do not need any collateral, as the farm is collateral in itself.Another pertinent question was whether a traditional authority can get a loan from the bank, to which the answer was in the affirmative, provided the venture that such an authority plans to engage in is in the interest of the community. Should such a community have any property, like a farm or house, it can use that as collateral to obtain a loan from the bank.
2017-09-05 10:15:51 1 years ago