Thursday, March 13, 2008
By Collins Chilambwe
Thursday March 13, 2008 [03:00]
ZAMBIA Development Studies Association (ZADESA) wants to open a bank for small-scale farmers to access loans and a parallel institution to render help in utilising the loans. ZADESA president Tiyaonse Kabwe said in an interview that the association wanted to open a bank for poor peasant farmers to render loans to them without collateral.
“As ZADESA we have a proactive action of identifying certain programmes that can contribute to the development of a country,” he said.
“I believe Zambians should be empowered to take the centre stage in economic development of our country through financial help. And I have firm conviction that Zambian nationals are building blocks of our country,” he said.
Kabwe said the starting point in development was revamping agriculture in Zambia.
He said peasant farmers were mostly left behind and if those farmers were empowered, there would be a multiplier effect in terms of development.
Kabwe said the bank would have branches throughout the country at district level accompanied by a parallel institution that would render training to peasant farmers.
He said the parallel institution would prepare farmers seeking loans to effectively utilise them and it would certify the farmers to proceed and get the loan.
Kabwe also said the institution would carry out market research and link farmers to them so that they are not exploited by unscrupulous businessmen.