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Harare Central Bank Secures $450 Million Credit For Stricken Farm Sector

Farmers have found encouragement in the announcement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that it has secured international loans of nearly US$500 million to finance urgently needed inputs to agricultural as the main planting season nears.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper said Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono disclosed the purchase of more than 75 million litres of diesel and petrol. Some of the fuel has already entered the country, the Herald reported.

The US$490 million loan facility was assembled out of credits from China, said to have lent Zimbabwe, increasingly a client state, $200 million, the rest coming from South African and local banking sources, the Herald reported.

Commercial Farmers Union President Douglas Tayloy-Freeme told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye the credits are a good start, but it remains to be seen if they will make a difference to a sector devastated by land reform and commodities shortages.

Thomas Nherera, a former president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmer’s Union, which represents most black farmers, said the loans should boost output.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...