African bank approves R1bn loan for Namibian agri project

The African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday approved a R1-billion loan to finance Namibia’s Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project.

According to a statement, the project aims to enhance the country’s agricultural productivity in order to reduce annual importation of staple cereal crops or grains and facilitate job creation.

It will be implemented by Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry over a period of five years in all 14 administrative regions of the country.

An AfDB spokesperson stated that it would directly benefit 294 500 crop farmers and 10 000 livestock farmers, support 11 smallholder farm cooperatives and indirectly benefit around 800 000 people along the cereal crops and livestock value chains.

The project is estimated to cost R1.42 billion, of which the AfDB loan covers 70.5%. The Namibian government and beneficiaries will contribute the remaining 25.5% and 4% respectively.

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