Innovative loan scheme ties in school fee assistance with agriculture
More than K340,000 is now available with the National Development Bank (NDB) for first time Maprik student applicants.
The applicants will be undergoing screening for the student loan scheme set by the Member for Maprik and Agriculture Minister Hon. John Simon with the first lot of students earmarked to receive their loans by next week, according to NDB Credit Scheme Manager Daniel Wohwiehembe.
This follows the signing of a MoU on Monday, June 1, at Maprik secondary school effecting the Agriculture based student loan scheme that had K1 million parked and officially presented to the NDB in March this year.
This student loan scheme is suitable for students at high school, secondary and tertiary institutions. It is an agriculture based loan designed with an important prerequisite for students to have at least a hectare of cocoa, vanilla or coffee as security to enable access to the loan scheme.
Students can access up to K5, 000 in school fee assistance with flexible loan repayment terms of up to five years.
Minister Simon said the official MoU signing now sets a pace for students in the district - noting that the strategy will encourage students to access school fee assistance but with sweat equity invested into the agriculture sector.
He said for instance, Maprik has well over 12 million existing cocoa trees that could be turned into a large-scale revenue generating platform if more effort is placed into managing cocoa.
Minister Simon has initiated the loan scheme strategy prior to becoming the Minister in charge of Agriculture. He said Maprik is rich in commodities that can boost production and bring in much needed large-scale revenue, if properly managed.
“However, without empowering and or investing in the people there can be no results – hence this credit scheme is set to encourage and empower students to continue studies but at the same time also manage their own plantations”, he said.