- Soil testing and availability of water will determine access to funding
The National Development Bank (NDB) has announced a new fund of P10 million targeting horticulture farmers.
According to NDB Relationship Manager, Kesego Mokgetse, the Impact Accelerator Subsidy (IAS) is available to Batswana above 18 years of age in order to vitalise the horticulture market for self-sufficiency. Speaking at the 2022 HATAB annual conference in Kasane last week, Mokgetse said the bank will review farms to access if they qualify for funding. The procedure involves soil testing and availability of water with a minimum of 2.5 cubic litres yield.
She disclosed that the Industry Support Fund (ISF) is currently closed as the P100 million allocated for the agriculture sector has been exhausted. NDB was allocated P600 million for lending out into agriculture, tourism and general industry. This followed a P1.3 billion approved for disbursement into economy through development financial institutions with the key objective of stabilising businesses facing the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the P600 million, NDB allocated P200 million to the tourism sector and P300 million to general businesses. Mokgetse disclosed that the fund has been instrumental in keeping 532 projects afloat across tourism, agriculture and other sectors. “Impact in terms of numbers and outreach has been in the agriculture space as it covered all sub-sectors,” said Mokgetse whose slides showed that 238 projects benefitted. In tourism and general business sectors, 179 and 116 projects benefited respectively from a total of P357 million.
“The latest census records 3.3 people per household, so impact is high across the board. This is monitored closely during project visits to ensure adherence,” she said, noting that local purchases mean employees of downstream companies benefited from the fund indirectly. Mokgetse said NDB seeks to disburse the remaining funds in order to assist companies that are still feeling the COVID impact. P40 million is left under the Tourism Fund while P77 million is left under General Industry Fund.