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Farmers Start Accessing $720 Million Loan Facility

Extensive crop cultivation used to be the mainstay of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector. (Photo/Citizen Journalist)
The Bankers of Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) says farmers have started accessing funding from banks in preparation for this years’ farming season.

BAZ chief executive Sij Biyami told the Herald newspaper that banks have set aside $720 million for the provision of agricultural inputs.

The funds will be distributed through agro-dealers, merchants who contract famers, and farmers directly under credit facilities from individual banks.

In the past, farmers have not been able to access bank loans due to lack of collateral as very few of them have 99-year land leases. Most farmers normally default in loan repayments.

Independent economic commentator, Masimba Kuchera, said there are still a number of issues that need to be addressed in order to close all loopholes that may lead to corruption in handling such loan facilities.

“This is a good idea but we are worried about corruption and issues related to farmers failing to repay these loans,” said Kuchera.