Friday, August 27, 2010

(HERALD) Give farmers loans, banks told

Give farmers loans, banks told
Agriculture Reporter

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wilson Nyabonda has challenged the banking sector to come up with well-structured medium and long-term loan facilities ahead of the 2010/11 summer cropping season.

Mr Nyabonda was speaking on the sidelines of ZCFU Manicaland Province’s first annual congress in Mutare last weekend. "Lack of financing capacity could hamper the pros-pects of a great agricultural season," he warned.

Mr Nyabonda said the Government should urgently intervene to ensure farmers have access to lines of credit.

He lamented that Government had become farmers’ biggest creditor through utilities such as Zesa, Zinwa and rural district councils that were issuing high bills for services.

"This is rendering farming less and less profitable, which is a threat to the national drive to reclaim our bread-basket status.

"Farmers have the capacity to produce once the playing field is evened-up for them. The prospects of a good season are there with 590kg of seed for irrigated tobacco having already been confirmed sold while there are adequate stocks for maize seed and more than 100 000 tonnes of both top dressing and compound fertilisers in stock," he said.

Mr Nyabonda said the ZCFU would in November convene an all-stakeholders conference to discuss ways of making farming operations easier.

"Despite the assurances that there will be adequate seed and fertiliser, farmers still are not capacitated to buy inputs. This is one of the key reasons behind the conference in November," Mr Nyabonda said.

Provincial congresses have been held in Mashonaland East and West and Matabeleland North and South.

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