Land Bank 2014/15 Annual Report

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Finance Standing Committee

08 September 2015
Chairperson: Mr Y Carrim (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Finance Minister pointed out that the Land Bank had embarked on a turnaround process in 2008. The first phase consisted of cleaning up and prioritising. The second phase involved stabilisation, and the third phase improved sustainability. The first two phases were successfully implemented. Over the preceding seven years there had been growth in the lending book, increased efficiency, and a decline in the non-performing loans ratio. There was increased focus on development. Liquidity and capital levels were sufficient to fulfill the mandate. The operating environment was tough, with a liquidity crunch in the domestic market. Governance was currently a central concern.

The Land Bank gave a briefing on its executive leadership; the unqualified 2014/15 audit report; operational performance highlights; environmental and social sustainability; financial and development impact performance; the new strategy framework, and improved coordination and cooperation. Opportunities and challenges included the expansion of agricultural exports; rural economy development and job creation assisted by a viable land access dispensation; smallholder farmer development underpinned by institutions with a regional focus; special initiatives for investment in agriculture infrastructure, and ongoing policy clarification on land and water rights.

In discussion, there were remarks and questions about investigations and criminal cases; service level agreements; the capitalisation of the R500 million guarantee; the decline of net profits; and staff breakdown. There was a shared concern among all the parties about Land Bank's support for development. Land purchases funding and easier access to finance for black farmers was a concern. The EFF in particular was concerned about the need for importation of food staples. There was attention to access to land and water for emerging farmers. More funding could be canvassed from the African Development Bank. Marketing received attention. There was concern about the lack of involvement of youth in agriculture. The Chairperson praised the new CEO; and also the Land Bank team as a whole. The Land Bank was granted four to six months to report back on progress made with issues identified by the Standing Committee.

Meeting report

Introduction by Minister of Finance
Mr Nhlanhla Nene, Minister of Finance, remarked that the Land Bank had embarked on a turnaround process in 2008. The first phase consisted of cleaning up and prioritising issues identified in the audit reports and investigations, and to resume operations according to government regulations. The bank was then in bad shape. The second phase focus was a stabilisation phase to establish effectiveness for long term health. The focus was on operations management systems, people and funding strategies. The third phase entailed improving sustainability, to improve performance in professional and sustainable ways, and to focus on the bank’s purpose. The first two phases had been successfully implemented.

There was a 13% per annum growth in the lending book over the preceding seven years, increased efficiency, and a decline in non-performing loan ratios, from 14.6% to 3.2% over the preceding seven years. There was a focus on development, with a dedicated business section set up to promote Retail Emerging Markets (REM). The third phase bank review pointed out successes and challenges. The result was strong progress over the preceding 12 months. The bank was in a strong position to navigate its environment. Liquidity and capital levels were sufficient to fulfill its mandate in terms of the National Development Plan (NDP). The operating environment was tough. There was a liquidity crunch in the domestic market. The Reserve Bank had hiked interest rates. The net profit was R352 million. Governance is currently a central concern and the previous Chairperson and acting CEO achieved much in that regard. In January 2015, Mr Mabotha Moloto joined as the new Chairperson, and Mr Tshokolo Nchocho was appointed as the new CEO. In addition to being financially sustainable, the Land Bank had to be robust and effective. There would be continued support for governance, so that the oversight role could be exercised. Financial sustainability implied creating a robust and effective, developmentally efficient institution. The new CEO was expected to move in that direction, and would receive support.

The Chairperson noted that Mr Moloto was well known in Parliament. He was an MP for many years. He served in the Finance Standing Committee. The Committee could be robust with him.

Land Bank on its 2014/15 Annual Report 
Mr Tshokolo Nchocho, CEO, stated that the agricultural sector could ignite economic growth and ensure food security. The Land Bank’s operational efficiency could be enhanced through collaboration with other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and sector departments. The agricultural sector faced difficult economic conditions like the slow economy and the impact of drought. The agri sector nevertheless remained fairly resilient, and the Land Bank performed well under the circumstances. The Land Bank received an unqualified audit report for 2014/15. There were no material findings on the usefulness and reliability of performance information.

The Chairperson remarked that the Land Bank had done well. The Land Bank had been moved into the care of  Treasury due to specific circumstances. He asked if the bank would stay under the Finance portfolio or go back to Agriculture. It was a political issue, rather than a technical one.

The Minister noted that the bank had been under Finance before 1994. It was brought to Treasury because of failure. It had previously been moved to Agriculture by a Minister whom he would not name. As it was a financial institution it was currently under Finance. The President could turn that around by proclamation, but there was currently no discussion about it in government.

Mr F Shivambu (EFF) objected to the Chairperson making an assessment of the Land Bank before the presentation was completed. The Land Bank had to be allowed to speak first, and then Members could make their own assessment.

The Chairperson ruled Mr Shivambu out of order.

Mr Shivambu maintained that the Land Bank had to be allowed to finish before the Chairperson made an assessment.

Mr Nchocho resumed the presentation by taking the Committee through operational performance highlights. Targets dealing with financial sustainability, affordable funding, and human capital were achieved. Development targets were partially achieved. Targets for information technology and research and innovation were achieved, but service delivery goals were partially achieved or not achieved. Partnership and stakeholder engagement goals were achieved, as well as for governance, risk management and compliance.

Mr Bennie van Rooy, Land Bank Chief Financial Officer, presented on financial performance. The performing loan book increased to R36.4 billion from R33 billion in the previous year. Non-performing loans increased to R1.4 billion from R1.1 billion in the previous year. Net interest income increased by 13.7% from the previous year. Net impairment charges increased by 18.3%. Graphs were presented on liquidity and cash management, equity and reserves, and capital adequacy. The development impact of Land Bank funding was indicated. Total Land Bank funding disbursed was R36471 million.

Mr Nchocho presented the new strategy framework. Opportunities and challenges included the expansion of agricultural exports, especially into Sub-Saharan Africa; expansion of a viable land access dispensation; improving sector productivity, both through the commercial farming sector and smallhold farming; investments in infrastructure, and ongoing policy clarifications on land and water rights.

Mr Mabotha Moloto, Land Bank Board Chairperson, concluded that agriculture had a central role in contributing to the GDP. There had to be cooperation with regional structures to assist smallholder farmers. In line with the NDP, much land was to be put under irrigation. Investment was needed, and the Land Bank had to join hands with development finance institutions (DFIs). Access to land was critical. There had to be ongoing policy articulation about water constraints.

Discussion
Mr Shivambu said that they had not received a copy of the Land Bank 2014/15 Annual Report.

The Chairperson said that normally a copy would be received on Mr Shivambu’s desk, but through Parliament's administration, not the Committee.

Mr D Maynier (DA) noted that the Annual Report had been tabled two weeks before, but had not been distributed to MPs. The research document was only received the night before.

Ms T Tobias (ANC) noted that the Annual Report was tabled by Parliament to all Members. It was not the responsibility of the Committee.

The Chairperson said that the Committee Secretary could supplement what Parliament did. It had never happened before. According to the PFMA deadline, the Annual Report had to be tabled in Parliament by 30 September annually. Twin Peaks was tabled on 14 July. Parliamentary dates kept changing. The Committee programme was dictated by the vagaries of Parliament. The Annual Report was tabled ahead of time, and parliament's administration had not processed it. The Committee researcher was the supervisor for five Committees and she was only notified on Wednesday to do a report . There was no sense in apologising for the Committee. The issue could be raised with the Secretary of Parliament. It was not the fault of the Committee.  Parliament would apparently not be holding plenary sittings beyond the current week. He would not discuss the matter again. He advised that Ms Tobias’s suggestion be accepted. There could be follow-up later on, once the report was read. There could be another meeting. Questions would be put to the Land Bank, and there could be another meeting if required.

Mr D Maynier (DA) noted that the Minister had said that the cleanup phase had been completed, but the Auditor-General (AG) report contradicted that. The AG referred to investigations in respect of Land Bank development finance use. He asked what progress had been made with these investigations. He asked how discrepancies were dealt with regarding loans, and whether criminal cases had been opened. Cases were handed to SAPS. He asked about arrests and charges.

Mr A Lees (DA) remarked that he had spoken to Mr van Rooy before the meeting about details regarding actual impairment for the year. Two of the cases were corporations. He asked if there would be complete write-offs, or whether there was a chance for recovery. He also asked about the impact of the collapse of African Bank and if the loan of R800 million to Patrick Sokhela had been written off.

Mr Lees said that it was obvious to all that the land issue had to be dealt with. The question was what the Land Bank doing to provide funding to black farmers for land purchases. He had four neighbours who were maintaining top beef herds, who were struggling. They had to lease from municipalities and white landowners. Land purchase had to be facilitated, There was no assistance. He had managed to raise 7000 hectares from the Vryheid office, but it was like pulling teeth.

Mr Lees noted that the external audit fees for Land Bank had nearly doubled. He asked if the R500 million guarantee was capitalised.

Dr B Khoza (ANC) congratulated the bank on the milestones achieved. Yet she was concerned about the most important service delivery areas. The network optimisation of Land Bank's delivery channel, Agricultural Finance Centres (AFCs), was not achieved. Enhanced product offering was only partly achieved. She asked what was meant by partially achieved. She asked why key performance objectives were not achieved. She asked how service level agreements worked. An outside body managed the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) process. She asked if Land Bank's Legal Services were involved.

Dr Khoza asked for the demographic percentages of the Land Bank clientele. South Africa was importing potatoes from the UK. Land was no longer being farmed. She asked what the bank was doing to get into that space, and what the hurdles were.

Ms Tobias welcomed Mr Moloto. It would be interesting to have him on the other side. The performance audit had resulted in an unqualified report, which showed that spending had been done properly, but there had to be more emphasis on development.

Ms Tobias said that there was partial achievement of development targets. Finances had to be allocated to those who could not access it before. The Land Bank did not follow the model of a normal commercial bank. It was difficult to get loans from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). There had to be easier access to finance.

Ms Tobias asked how often debt had been written off. The pattern had to be analysed, and it had to be asked who were involved. It could be smallholders or those who had not been in the sector before. Sometimes debt was written off because of challenges. When black farmers experienced drought and could show no profits, debt to the Land Bank could be written off. There had to be reports on progressive performance. Loans to smallhold farmers had to be recapitalised.

Mr Shivambu remarked that he was more interested in non-financial performance. That was why he was worried about success being proclaimed before a detailed presentation was given. A report was called for on the extent of non-financial performance. He referred to access to land by the disadvantaged. That was part of the Land Bank mandate. He asked how many were benefitting from interventions. He asked for information about how many emerging farmers were assisted, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and jobs created through Land Bank interventions. South Africa was having to import food staples against a background of food insecurity.

Mr Shivambu referred to internal and external constraints. South Africa did not subsidise agriculture. Others subsidised, and that had an impact locally. The Finance Standing Committee was also a political finance committee. The priorities of the Land Bank had to be examined. The question was what kind of assistance the bank was rendering, and the method used to assist. There had to be a trajectory around the protection of agriculture. There were agricultural entrepreneurs among the historically disadvantaged who produced staples like chicken and beef, who had to acquire security for agricultural assistance.

Dr Khoza asked if the bank was allowed to disclose its relationship to clients, and whether it could talk about the performance of loans. One had to be careful to discuss cases like the R800 million debt of Dr Sokhela.

The Chairperson said that it was mentioned in the Annual Report. The general principle at stake was the recovery of loans.

Mr Lees noted that the Sokhela debt had been in the public domain for years.

The Chairperson drew attention to questions and remarks by the Committee Researcher. It did not exactly represent what everyone thought. Her report asked why electrical challenges at Swellendam and Rustenburg were not reported, what the challenges were that prevented that, and if challenges had been resolved. The researcher asked about Land Bank's reasons for not pursuing charges, as it was not indicated in the Annual Report. The researcher asked about the decline of net profit, from R394 million to 292.4 million. It was noted that group investment income had declined from R181.9 million to 151.8 million, and total impairments increased by 38.4%. Investment income declined by 23.8%.  There were challenges to overall control of the bank environment. There was no breakdown of staff in terms of employment and salary levels, and women at the senior management level.

The Chairperson said that a good job had been done since 2009. It was crucial for performance that the finances had to be in order. The Land Bank had to deliver the money. Land Bank performance would be evaluated. The bank depended on policy decisions of other entities. He asked if issues were raised with the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development. Financial and performance objectives had to be aligned. The Land Bank could not be held responsible for the failure of land reform policies. The question was what was being done to help emerging farmers, to deal with drought, and to improve productivity. There were issues around writing off of loans, and assisting with the management of land and water and the environment. Issues had to be clarified.

Ms Tobias asked what could be recommended to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) about impediments to increased exports in the Sub-Saharan region.

Mr Nchocho responded that there was a confidentiality requirement with regard to relations with clients. Information could not be disclosed about contractual agreements. Issues of principle were discussed in the current forum, unless facts were generally known to the public. The case of Dr Sokhela was settled, and the R800 million was recovered.

The Chairperson told Mr Lees to general amusement that he would not be fired for acknowledging that something had been well done.

Mr Lees duly congratulated the Land Bank.

Mr Jerome Mthembu, Executive Manager: Legal Services, said that it was an old matter. There was an investigation related to the cleanup of the Land for Development Finance Unit (LDFU) portfolio, which the DA had said was not yet fully completed. It was finalised in 2010 by the Land Bank and a report was handed to the Hawks. A criminal case was opened against the client for defrauding the Land Bank. There was a police investigation of the matter.

The Chairperson advised that the Land Bank keep track of progress with police investigations. Cases had to be pursued. It was not enough to simply hand it the matter over to the police. Not one of the 34 cases handed to the police in the previous year had been prosecuted. The Land Bank had to respond within three months about outcomes related to people pursued by the police.

Dr Khoza agreed that there was paralysis.

The Chairperson added that people were acting with impunity.

Mr Mthembu responded that the bank worked together with the police, and supplied them with documentation needed to secure convictions. The Land Bank had managed to get convictions for fraud and corruption.

Mr Maynier asked that the Committee be furnished with the report passed on to the Hawks. He appreciated cooperation with the Police, and agreed that there had to be a progress report within three months. He asked what the name of the client was.

The Chairperson said that legal advice was needed. The legal priniciple was that a person was innocent until proven guilty.

Mr Mthembu replied that the report was a confidential document.

The Chairperson noted that it was so because it formed part of the case against the accused.

Mr Mthembu said that the name of the client was "Mbelende Food".

Ms Tobias remarked that it was problematic to approach matters under investigation. If people thought that their rights had been impeded, Parliament would be taken to task. The accused was not there to respond.

The Chairperson said that he had to abide by the rules of Parliament. He could not stop a legitimate question. He asked if the person had appeared in court.

Mr Mthembu replied that it was not an individual. A case was opened against the company and the directors.

The Chairperson noted that it was not in the public domain until the persons appeared in court.

Mr Nchocho responded to the question about funding for land purchases. The Land Bank was able to provide land mortgage finance. Branch offices were not yet efficient with regard to the portfolio of mortgage finance for farmers. It could do better. There had to be leadership enhancement to create an operational environment.

Mr van Rooy responded with regard to the impairment of non-performing loans. The bank would take action once there was default on payment. The client would be assigned to the NPL category. There was more discretion when dealing with corporates, if it was seen to be industry related. The process was driven by rules. The Basel 2 and 3 requirements were to relegate a client to NPL if three installments were missed. Banks could not disclose the amount of exposure of reclassified loan customers. The bank was well capitalised. When loans were written off, the bank could act as a buffer. It was primarily related to distressed customers. It was not in Land Bank interest to repossess. Attempts were made to resuscitate accounts. The amount of bad debt was low.

Mr van Rooy noted with regard to the failure of  African Bank, that there was a huge difference between the Land Bank and African Bank. The balance sheet structure and risk profile differed. The failure of African Bank was related to funding of micro-lenders through the capital market. Loans were unsecured. The Land Bank was a secured lender, that depended on collateral. There was a level of market contagion from the point of view of funding. Fund managers were unable to fund. There were fewer asset management funds available to financial services. Fund managers indicated that they were unable to fund business. The appetite of fund managers was reduced. Funding was short-term at increased cost. The term of liabilities was under pressure.

Mr van Rooy continued that there was an increase in external audit fees, that was nominal. There had been more reliance on external auditors in the current year. The capitalisation of the government guarantee took the form of the government taking the place of the Land Bank, when there was distress, or when collateral was needed for funders. It was a paper transaction, not a cash flow one. Capitalisation of the guarantee was through physical injection.

Mr Nchocho acknowledged that there were still challenges around service delivery, performance and product offering. Agricultural Finance Centres (AFCs) performance fell short of objectives. He had found it necessary to make changes to the structure of the Land Bank. Formerly one executive position had been responsible for all lending activities. He noticed that there was not enough executive leadership. The branch network and service positions had to be supported. He had approached the Board about splitting the position for enhanced leadership. One executive would head the corporate section for big agricultural projects, with the other managing development programmes. There would be a reconfiguration of the branches so that these could be drawn into provincial structures for better supervision. Product offering had to be improved through innovation. R500 million was granted to the Western Cape for the use of cooperatives like Swellendam. There was an agreed upon service fee model. There was funding on behalf of the Land Bank through retail. According to agreements on the ground, a third party dealt with agriculture on behalf of the Land Bank. There was the problem of land not being optimally farmed. There had to be a closer partnership with the Department of Agriculture and its provincial departments  which had to be responsible for farm establishment and monitoring. An approach was being formulated to resuscitate parcels of land. Beneficiaries had to be redefined, with infrastructure re-capitalised to ensure an integrated farm market across the value chain. Farmers needed technical services to support market access. The Land Bank could not assist on its own. There had to be a partnership. There was a demography of the clientele.

Mr van Rooy added that demographic factors were dealt with in detail in the Annual Report, on pages 195 to 200. There was classification of products, geographic distribution, credit risk and exposure.

Mr Nchocho said that the Land Bank could return to the Committee on the issue.

The Chairperson asked for a general overview and breakdown.

Mr Moloto, Land Bank board chairperson, said that the development of agriculture was crucial. The Department of Agriculture had responded with an agriculture policy action plan that conceded to the kind of issues Mr Shivambu had raised. Issues would be dealt with and some mitigated. There was collaboration with other DFIs about the share of fertiliser cost increases, across the value chain. Fertiliser imports had increased dramatically. The agricultural strategy included an import substitution strategy, which the Land Bank supported. The Land Bank had to finance people who wanted to get involved in that input sector. If the bank did not intervene farmers were exposed to fluctuation in international prices. It would feed through production prices, the inflation index, and the transition mechanism, and spike up inflation. The Land Bank was alive to challenges and would render support as a debt provider.

Mr Nchocho acknowledged that the Land Bank did not facilitate land access on a substantial level, although it did provide for acquisition of land. Three billion per year was allocated in the budget. The Land Bank budget also financed various needs of the agriculture sector. The Land Bank contribution was small. R700 million was allocated to emerging farmers. The exact number of farmers financed was not known. Job creation was based on volumes of lending. The emerging farmer methodology was guided by the Land Bank Act that required lending to be security based. It could lend up to 70 or 80%. R400 million was invested in a sugar cane project on communal land. It was land parcels given back to communities under restitution. It was not security based. Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) based cash flow lending was resorted to. It was estimated that a farmer could produce a certain number of tons per hectare. The client would sign a purchase agreement for Land Bank to buy the full produce, and the Land Bank then granted a loan. It was an example of cash flow based lending, rather than security based. It was a matter of riding on the backs of revenue streams. The Land Bank could do more to deal with material external constraints. The strategy drive had to be repositioned, with a more robust development finance push. Leadership had to be enhanced for better development finance outcomes. The Land Bank financed over the short term. For development programmes a period of 10 to 15 years was necessary. The African Development Bank and the World Bank was putting together a funding plan to increase the level of funding. External economic factors were tough for farmers. There were natural risks. There were fewer insurers willing to undertake crop insurance. ABSA exited, and the Land Bank got the business from it, which provided a chance to undertake crop insurance. Land Bank interest rates were related to the REM portfolio. 4% was offered to farmers. The rate was far below the Land Bank cost of capital. The bank was losing money through the lending interest rate programme. There were discussions with Treasury about the unsustainability of a discounted pricing system. A discounted interest rate eroded the Land Bank capital base. There had to be funding on a break even basis. Provisions had to be made for clients in distress.

Mr Nchocho noted with regard to carry-over debt, that when North West farmers experienced drought the loan was not shut down, but carried over to the next season. Finance was provided to plant during the current season. The process could not be maintained for too long. Colleagues in Land Bank insurance assisted. Exports to the rest of Africa had grown by more than 5%. South Africa could export to countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana. There were logistical constraints like difficulties with getting into the port at Ghana. Farmers wanted to trade on cash, which limited volumes of lending. The African Union did a lot to improve the economic climate.

Mr Nchocho said that the Bank wanted to put all building blocks in place for aspirant farmers. Aspirant farmers in the Western Cape were struggling with water allocations. Land Bank was speaking to colleagues in the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation.

Mr van Rooy referred to the decline in net profit. There was a bank and insurance component. Bank profit exceeded that of the previous year, whereas insurance profits declined. There had been additional claims on insurance, which were once-off events. The insurance interdict was statutory and required related investment, from a Financial Services Board (FSB) point of view. Investment in equity and bonds did not perform as in the previous year.

Mr van Rooy referred to the external and internal audit. The external audit resulted in an unqualified report on financial statements. The internal audit comprised a review of operational and other environments. Functions were highlighted where the control environment was strong, as in finance, treasury, credit, and operations. There was concern about HR and legal matters.

Mr Nchocho said with reference to the internal audit that the Land Bank had acted to redress, and closed gaps when the AG came to audit. The staff profile was being reviewed, with a focus on the executive team. He had made a point of ensuring diversity in the executive team.

The Chairperson noted that there were four women on the team.

Mr Nchocho responded that many provincial offices had not migrated to that level of diversity.

The Chairperson said that questions had to be put in writing. The Land Bank had until 18 September to reply.

Ms Tobias remarked that it would have been ideal if the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development had been present. She referred to pillars three and four of the new strategy framework, namely sector productivity and intensification, and agri-innovation. Productivity had to be improved. There were sector challenges with the EU, which had rejected South African citrus products. The EU minimised imports from South Africa to protect their own. When farmers wanted to produce a certain product, it had to be asked if that market was saturated. South Africa had to innovate and produce. There had to be more exports. New entrants had to produce for the export market. The canned food market was a promising one. The African Development Bank did not look South. There were low investment portfolios. More funding could be canvassed from the ADB.  The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) had a role to play. Long term injections favoured South Africa more than anybody else. Other sector departments had to have a clear strategy, not confined to land restitution. She agreed with Mr Shivambu that it was not acceptable to import staples like maize. White maize was being imported, the percentages were alarming. The productivity model had to be linked to the Land Bank funding model. It had to be possible for the entire output to be bought. The marketing end of products was imperative. There had to be a template that spoke to women, youth and black people, to identify challenges. There was a lack of adequate training in marketing. Namibia was exporting more beef than South Africa. It had to be asked if the local funding model was restrictive. There had to be more young people in agriculture. She asked if they had been lobbied.

Mr Moloto replied that there was collaboration with stakeholders about youth involvement in agriculture. It was evident that youth were not attracted to agriculture. It was not considered sexy. A correct base could be built if agriculture schools could produce necessary skills.

The Chairperson remarked that surveys over the preceding 10 years had indicated that young people did not want to farm. Research indicated that many  people in the rural areas wanted to escape, not only young people. Farm work was grueling work, and farms were subject to drought and other challenges.

Mr Lees referred to the classification of impairments. Mr van Rooy had said that the Basel 3 and 4 guidelines referred to three missed installments. He hoped that it did not include annual installments.

Mr Lees asked why the guarantee was withdrawn and R500 million was injected. He asked about reasons for the change. He asked about R755 000 in loans to employees, and R622 000 to former employees.

Mr van Rooy replied that in annual terms it amounted to two installments. The R500 million injection was early in the financial year, and he was slim on information. The Land Bank would return on the matter.

Mr Nchocho noted that there were not a lot of new loans to employees. It was a 25 year loan and movement was very slow. It was secured mortgage loans, and there were no recoverability issues.

Mr Mthembu replied that the R500 million was an old guarantee by the Treasury that was made available to the Land Bank.

Mr Nchocho said that there was a commodity based approach that looked at high economic potentials. There was a 30 page document that articulated economic potentials. Job creation and an improved value chain were dealt with. With regard to debts written off, he noted that defaults from small scale farmers were not big. Such farmers were more vulnerable than the big ones.

The Chairperson concluded that any further questions had to be phrased by the following Wednesday. He thought that the majority of the Committee was impressed by what had been presented. He praised Mr Nchocho, the new CEO. The CEO was impressive, and knew what he was doing. It was not just a matter of words. There were many articulate officials. There was something about the way in which he had presented, which showed that there was very little spin. The Committee was impressed. The Chairperson had a good team. The Land Bank could return and explain why things had worked for them, and not for other institutions. In the past he had been impressed with government department presentations, only to find virtually the same presentation brought to Parliament a year later.

The Chairperson concluded that the Secretary and the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) put together questions, including those posed by the Committee researcher. The Land Bank could report again within four to six months about progress with issues.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
 

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