Vice President, Dr Nangolo Mbumba has urged Agribank to consider financing value-adding industries, such as the abattoirs in communal areas in order to alleviate the urban migration challenge.
Mbumba was speaking during a visit to Agribank last week as part of his familiarisation trips to key state-owned enterprises.
He called for a multi-stakeholder approach to address the continued skyrocketing of farmland prices in the country.
The Vice President added that the dynamics of farming have changed and thus farmers need continuous training and mentorship to succeed. “You cannot live in a modern economy without sufficient preparation and requisite knowledge,” he said.
During the tour, Mbumba expressed appreciation for the visible synergy and teamwork demonstrated by the bank’s board and senior management in the process leading up to his visit and during the visit itself.
During his welcoming remarks, board chairperson Michael Iyambo noted that the visit comes at a difficult time for the economy in general and agricultural industry in particular, especially given the prolonged economic downturn and unpredictable weather cycles.
Iyambo was however optimistic that such conditions also present opportunities for the bank. “What we need as a nation is upright leadership, closer synergies among key stakeholders, innovation and diversification and most importantly the urge to take important decisions and actions,” he concluded.
At the occasion, Agribank Chief Executive Officer, Sakaria Nghikembua presented an overview of the bank’s mandate, its product portfolio as well as challenges and opportunities the bank is facing, and how these are being dealt with. Nghikembua emphasised that Agribank has an important role to play in the land reform process in the country, adding the bank requires support of all stakeholders to effectively and sustainably deliver on its mandate.