Zimbabwe farmers welcome Command Agriculture funding terms


Farmers in Zimbabwe have hailed government for introducing new funding conditions for Command Agriculture that require individuals to approach banks for support in grain production during the 2019-20 summer cropping season.

The farmers said the move will help them boost production and do away with unscrupulous businesspeople who used to abuse inputs under Command Agriculture.

For the 2019-20 maize and soyabeans support, Government has entered into partnerships with Agribank, CBZ, Stanbic and Women’s Bank to manage and disburse funds for the programme.

These banks shall support A1, A2 and other large-scale farmers into soyabean and maize production.

The tenure of the loans is 270 days at an interest rate of 10,5 percent per annum and an upfront fee of 2,25 percent.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Mr .Wonder Chabikwa yesterday said farmers welcomed the new conditions as Government was guaranteeing the loans.

He said the facility would benefit “real farmers” who are hardworking while boosting the sustainability of agricultural funding.

“Real farmers farm for profit and pay back loans. When all things are normal farmers pay back loans as they will want to continue benefiting from the facility. By accessing loans through the banks, cases of people abusing inputs will be limited,” he said.

Mr. Chabikwa said some farmers were afraid of the risk associated with bank loans.

He said some years back, farmers lost properties to banks after failing to pay back loans.

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president, Mrs Depinah Nkomo said while most farmers had good track records, some were not willing to engage banks for loans.