Nedbank has developed a shade netting finance solution to assist farmers to protect their margins, as natural elements, such as wind, hail, frost, sunburn and birds, resulting in negative crop output. "As climate change continues to impact on the planet, especially in agriculture, the need for innovative solutions to mitigate, ensuring food security, is key to the sustainability of the sector," says Maluta Netshaulu, Nedbank Senior Manager for Agriculture.
"The agriculture sector is mindful of climate change and concerned about the impact on margins by natural hazards. As money experts committed to doing good, we listened to the concerns of our clients and came up with a solution that can help," adds Netshaulu.
Shade netting is a sustainable cover protecting horticultural crops from hazardous elements. The use of shade netting improves the performance of underperforming orchards, acts as protection against natural hazards such as hail, high wind speeds, frost, sunburn and birds, prevents cross-pollination (seedless cultivars remain seedless) and improves water use efficiency by 25%, resulting in the better handling of droughts and water restrictions.
Furthermore, the use of shade netting reduces nitrogen application, saves on orchard sanitation, increases young tree growth, ensures that trees reach maturity faster, and enhances fruit size and colour.
"As a bank committed to using our money expertise to grow the economy and create jobs, Nedbank Agriculture's shade netting finance solution is in line with the bank's purpose of helping clients 'see money differently', and this is really an innovative opportunity to employ expertise for the benefit of farmers in a sustainable way," concludes Netshaulu.