In response to the Namibian government's state of emergency declaration on the current drought affecting the country, Bank Windhoek, as a responsible corporate citizen has implemented various measures to minimise the effects of this unfortunate disaster.
From a customer perspective, an internal committee has been established to look at both commercial and communal farmers exposures and find innovative ways to mitigate the impact of loss of income on their financial obligations. In addition, farmers are urged to get in contact with their respective Branch Managers to seek mutual solutions. Furthermore, Bank Windhoek will place key strategic focus on stakeholder engagement in the coming months to add value and be a connector of positive change within the farming sector.
The Bank Windhoek Vehicle and Asset Finance Department is offering John Deere bush equipment, which will enable farmers to become sustainable in producing animal fodder. The initiative, known as Bush-to-Feed, refers to the production of animal fodder, using encroached bush.
According to the De-bushing Advisory Services, developed as part of a German development agency's support to the de-bushing project in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, there are currently 30 million hectares of Namibian farmland that are bush encroached. Bush thinning aids to restore degraded farmland and increase agricultural productivity.
In support of the Dare to Care Initiative Bank Windhoek, has also announced a contribution ofN$500 000.
The Fund, established in 2000, is an initiative by the agricultural sector and the Namibian private sector, who pledged to assist all producers survive the drought. These include communal, emerging and commercial farmers across the country.
“As a partner of the agricultural community, Bank Windhoek is aware of the difficulties faced by farmers at this time. As a Namibian Bank, it is our duty to assist Namibians affected by the adverse conditions brought on by the drought. With our humble contribution, we hope to assist farmers prepare their animals for market and try to save their core breeding herd for when the rain returns," said Bank Windhoek's Managing Director, Baronice Hans.
Hans further called on the Namibian business community and private individuals to assist wherever they can to mitigate the effects of the drought. “I encourage other businesses and individuals to assist Namibian farmers in whichever way possible. Farmers are essential for our country's food security. By assisting, you are contributing to Namibia's economic future," she said.
Bank Windhoek was also instrumental in assisting the Dare to Care Fund to create awareness by providing in kind assistance with marketing materials for print and online marketing as well as including establishing a Facebook page.
“The Dare to Care Fund would like to thank Bank Windhoek for its contribution. With the help of the business community, we can achieve our goal to ensure a sustainable future for our farmers. So far, the fund stands at N$5, 45 million," said Namibia Agricultural Union's (NAU) Executive Manager, Roelie Venter, who is also a representative of the Dare to Care Fund.