Farm­ers yet to use 99-year leases as col­lat­eral

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

THE Zim­babwe Com­mer­cial Farm­ers’ Union (ZCFU) says it is yet to get a “con­crete” agree­ment from the Bankers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe al­low­ing farm­ers to se­cure loans from banks us­ing the 99-year lease agree­ments as col­lat­eral.

Cab­i­net has ap­proved a pro­posed law to of­fer farm­ers 99-year leases and al­low them to bor­row from lo­cal fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to buy crit­i­cal farm­ing in­puts.

Un­der the ar­range­ment, the leases would ap­ply to medium and large scale farm­ers that have in the past not been able to se­cure loans from the lo­cal bank­ing sec­tor for vi­tal in­puts such as seed and fer­tiliser.

ZCFU pres­i­dent Mr Won­der Chabikwa told Busi­ness Chron­i­cle in an in­ter­view yes­ter­day that it has been some­time since it was an­nounced that the 99-year lease agree­ments were now bank­able but the farm­ers were yet to use them.

“It has been quite a num­ber of oc­ca­sions where we have heard that the 99-year leases are now bank­able but as farm­ers we never got a con­crete agree­ment from BAZ that we can use the lease agree­ments to se­cure loans from the banks,” said Mr Chabikwa.

“The last time we heard about them (99-year leases) be­com­ing bank­able was in March or April this year. How­ever, we are still not us­ing them be­cause BAZ has told us that it has not reached a point when the lease agree­ments can be used as col­lat­eral when bor­row­ing.”

Mr Chabikwa said fail­ure to use land as col­lat­eral to bor­row was im­pact­ing neg­a­tively on the farm­ers’ ef­forts to im­prove pro­duc­tion.

“Even if we are to bor­row us­ing the 99-year lease agree­ments as col­lat­eral, the money is ex­pen­sive which means the loans are not suit­able for farm­ing as lend­ing rates are pegged be­tween 12 per­cent and 18 per­cent,” he said.

Mr Chabikwa said lend­ing rates within the Sadc re­gion were pegged at be­tween four and 10 per­cent and this, cou­pled with sub­si­dies, was mak­ing farm­ing vi­able.

BAZ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Sij Biyam would not be reached for com­ment by the time of go­ing to print yes­ter­day as his mo­bile phone was not be­ing answered. THINK in other terms. It’s a phrase that has been pop­u­larised by the famous Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (Nust) in Bulawayo. This is a chal­lenge for in­sti­tu­tions to be dif­fer­ent and of­fer so­lu­tions to the com­mu­nity. Nust did that and it of­fered that which was dif­fer­ent from other univer­si­ties and it pro­duced sought af­ter grad­u­ates that the in­dus­try was lack­ing.

It has con­tin­ued to of­fer re­search and de­vel­op­men­tal cour­ses, which is what in­dus­try yearns for. Nust says “Think in other terms”, MoB Cap­i­tal says “Act in other terms” once you have grad­u­ated from our in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing.

Think­ing out­side the box Think­ing has al­ways been a pre­serve for the few thus the rea­son we have fewer ge­niuses among our­selves. So a man thin­keth . . . A thought is the most pow­er­ful thing that has changed the world. All the things that you marvel at right now, (lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing), was first con­ceived in the mind. The world of busi­ness world over is say­ing it’s about the way you think. If we think su­per­mar­kets, poul­try, restau­rants, whole­sal­ing will de­liver us from the dol­drums as a coun­try then we are re­ally jok­ing. We need to think be­yond the ob­vi­ous busi­ness mod­els for sur­vival. It’s how you do it that makes the dif­fer­ence. The world over is say­ing “Think out­side the box”. At MoB Cap­i­tal we are say­ing “Act out­side the box” in other

Makomo Re­sources says it is owed about $25 mil­lion by its largest cus­tomer, the Zim­babwe Power Com­pany

Mr Won­der Chabikwa

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