Support of agriculture through bank notes noble
EDITOR — For agriculture to continue being the main economic driver and a success story in Zimbabwe there is a need for collective support and effort from all players cutting across the financial, public, private and corporate sectors.
Financing farmers is not the responsibility of the government alone, neither is it supposed to be overseen by those directly linked and involved in agriculture.
The agricultural sector is so diverse and has important functions aside from food provision which include economic benefits, employment creation, environmental benefits among others at individual, community, national and international level.
The commitment by banks like CBZ Holdings, Agribank to provide finance for farmers should be a catalyst for other financial institutions to also chip in and help our farmers. Most of them are financially deficient, and therefore there is need to provide them with capital which is a key requirement for agriculture to be a success story.
With our government led by the ruling party Zanu-PF under the leadership of President Mugabe having so many other financial commitments to meet there is thus of course need for other players to help assist our farmers.
This financial support can come through both short and long term initiatives like unveiling and giving them loans so as to buy inputs as well as for them to meet their labour requirements among others needed in agriculture.
Most farmers have proved and shown that with adequate financial backing they are indeed capable of producing enough food for the nation. They are also capable of producing high quality cash crops like tobacco which meets foreign markets needs and standards. For most of these farmers, capital has been a limiting factor hence the need to assist them by giving them loans.
The government to its credit has done its best to assist farmers through its programmes like giving and distributing land under the Land Reform Programme, providing technical assistance and know how through its departments of Research and Specialist Services working in collaboration with AGRITEX.
Thus other partners like banks and the private sector also need to complement government effort by assisting farmers by providing financial assistance for the good of our nation. Felix Zonke