By ZBC Reporter
The Agricultural sector’s performance is poised for a massive transformation on the back of a Government decision to restructure Agribank into a land bank that will finance the sector.
The restructuring of Agribank into a land bank that will act as a financing vehicle for the country’s agricultural sector is expected to strengthen and diversify existing agricultural and rural financial services for sustainable agrarian reform for accelerated development.
Finance and Economic development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said this is part of the broader solution to bridge the gap that was existing towards funding the sector.
“It’s a measure that we undertook as government to support the agricultural sector which will enable it to perform its role to achieve set targets under vision 2030. This is the solution that was largely lacking for the sector as most commercial banks were now concentrating on corporates,” he says.
The remodeling of Agribank will be critical to provide relief for the sector as most farmers were failing to ramp up production due to lack of access to cheap financing.
Agricultural Expert Dr Renneth Mano notes this is an important pedestal to strengthen the performance of the agricultural sector.
Dr Mano says “this position is really applaud able because what it means is the A1 ND A2 farmers will be able to access cheap finances that will help transform the agricultural sector into a commercially viable entity. We applaud the government for assuming this position.”
Other agricultural bodies have also responded to this development, describing it as a model that is sensitive to the requirements of over one hundred thousand A1 farmers and close to two million rural households.
Zimbabwe National Farmers Union Chief Executive Officer Mr Edward Dune says, “Zimbabwe National Farmers Union applaudes the Gvt of Zimbabwe for the move to remodel Agribank to dedicate its functions to finance A1 and A2 sector.
“This move will go a long way in facilitating capitalisation of Agriculture and ultimately trigger economic growth. Legislation has it that Agribank is a development bank , what needs to be done is to avail long term funding which funding has to be availed to beneficiaries at affordable rates. Our members need tractors,equipment and affordable financial facilities to enhance productivity.”
According to the government, the Land Bank will link currently under utilised land to structured markets while also mandated to mobilise private sector finance in order to contribute to job creation, food security and social protection in rural communities.