National Development Bank (NDB) has admitted that collecting debt from farmers especially in the Ngamiland area is hampered by lack of market for cattle owners.
The bank said it is owed millions of Pula in loans that were advanced as part of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) relief fund in 2008.
The bank’s Communications Manager, Harry Mack, revealed the total amount was borrowed by 5721 farmers was P105 million and that out of this amount only P21 million has been paid back so far.
“The farmers still owe us and we are still continuing with efforts to recover all the money we are owed,” he said, adding that their efforts to recover the money they are owed he said are hampered by lack of market for the farmer’s cattle.
Recently, cattle movement restriction has been lifted in most areas in the district, a move which Mack hoped will allow farmers to sell their livestock re-pay their loans.
“We welcome removal of cattle movement restrictions and our hopes are that more and more farmers will come forward and pay the money they owe us,” he said.
He did not want to comment on Ngamiland farmers’ calls to have their debt written-off because they suffered for a long time with lack of market for their cattle as well as drought which has killed most of their livestock.
Some farmers in Ngamiland have been planning to come and raise the issue of debt cancellation with President Ian Khama.