Saturday, July 31, 2021

AFDB lends NDB a strategic hand

The National Development Bank (NDB) has engaged the African Development Bank (AfDB) to assist in the development of the strategy to improve its performance that would lead to increased profitability.

NDB is said to have implemented many of the recommendations made by AfDB, which include, among others, undertaking diagnosis of NDB portfolio.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development – Dr Wilfred Mandlebe told Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the diagnosis of NDB portfolio includes reviewing the credit risk management policy; establishment of a technical credit committee; and enhancing the risk management framework. He said it is now intended to re-focus NDB’s operations on lending to the agricultural sector.

In August 2020 the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer – Lorato Morapedi said that it is re-positioning as an AgriBank targeting emerging and commercial farmers. Morapedi said this was necessary given the elevated need for improved food security in the country as well as the contribution of the agriculture sector to GDP.

Still at the time, Morapedi said that the bank is harnessing the use of technology and innovation to promote smart and green farming such as climate-controlled farming and technology driven prefabricated sector specific products as well as the use of renewable energy across the agriculture value chain.

NDB also previously said that it aiming aims to reduce the country’s food import bill by 5 percent by the year 2022. Morapedi said the bank targets 90 percent contribution to local production from NDB funded projects annually.

“COVID-19 has magnified the food insecurity we currently face with closure of borders. We have launched “Feed The Nation” campaign to catalyse and develop the identified niche sub-sectors. We are currently running the Feed The Nation Horticulture campaign to enable emerging and existing commercial farmers to increase production of horticultural produce,” said Morapedi.

In supporting NDB funded businesses during the pandemic, NDB last year introduced forbearance measures to cushion the businesses against the adverse effects.

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