Preparations for the forthcoming farming season have started in Zimbabwe with farmers appealing for bank loans as bankers warn them to brace for tough times.
Farmers who spoke to VOA Studio 7 in Victoria Falls, Mutare, Masvingo, Gwanda and Goromonzi said they have started preparing their fields for the rain season with indications that some shops are full of inputs like maize seed and farming implements.
The farmers appealed to government to ensure that they access agricultural inputs at a time the state is engaged in discussions with commercial banks over the bankability of 99-year land leases. Banks argue that the land permits cannot be used as collateral.
In communal areas, farmers like Herbert Sithole of Goromonzi say they are working hard to ensure that they will get a bumper harvest this agricultural season.
Former Agribank banker, Ngoni Chividze, said A2 farmers may face serious hurdles in accessing bank loans.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made could not be reached for comment as he was not picking up his mobile phone.