Post Bank inks deal with farmers

Post Bank inks deal with farmers

MASERU – MEMBERS of the Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU) will now have access to a M500 million loan facility, thanks to a deal they signed with the Lesotho Post Bank this week.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Maseru on Monday.
Under the deal, the bank and LENAFU agreed to assist farmers with training on bookkeeping so that they can manage their businesses properly.

Lesotho Post Bank CEO, Molefi Leqhaoe, said this is meant to bridge relations between banks and farmers who often struggle to keep proper books of accounts.
Leqhaoe told thepost that “one of the mandates and major reasons Lesotho Post Bank came into existence was to improve the lives of Basotho”.

He said he is pleased because “that mandate is being put into action through the joining of hands by the bank and LENAFU”.
The bank also promised to help find a renowned specialist farmer to help the LENAFU members excel in farming.
Leqhaoe said in order for a member to qualify for the loan, he will first have to go through some special training.
LENAFU CEO, ’Mamolise Lawrence, said there is an urgent need for Basotho to step up in food production schemes.
Lawrence thanked Lesotho Post Bank for agreeing to assist LENAFU members.

“The government alone cannot close the food void that is a major problem among Lesotho citizens,” Lawrence said.
She said although Lesotho has high literacy levels, most farmers do not have bookkeeping skills which contributes immensely to serious challenges in running their projects.

Only LENAFU accredited farmers will be eligible to get loans under the arrangement.
Leqhaoe said this provision “can only be established if trust reigns between the two parties”.
Leqhaoe said one of the factors that led to LENAFU members being granted the loans was the fact that the organisation is legally registered.

“Other reasons included that the organisation had many members, and that most of their policies are implemented,” Leqhaoe said.
The bank also promised to give farmers training in financial literacy and keep a close look on them as they start their businesses till they get to maturity stage.

Lawrence said there is still a need for Lesotho’s youths to be engaged in agriculture and “avoid classifying it under the not-so-glamorous category of making a living”.

She said that LENAFU has 23 000 farmers with only 20 percent of the members being youths.

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