Sup­port of agri­cul­ture through bank notes noble

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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

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