Women’s Bank avails loans

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Lor­raine Ma­timbe

THE Zim­babwe Women’s Mi­cro­fi­nance Bank (ZWMB), launched by Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnangagwa this year, is avail­ing loans to farm­ers coun­try­wide so as to boost the prospects of the 2018-19 sum­mer crop­ping sea­son.

Small-scale farm­ers - mainly women - have been ac­cess­ing loans of up to $1 000 to pur­chase in­puts for sub­sis­tence farm­ing, which is the bedrock of na­tional house­hold food se­cu­rity.

The money is be­ing ac­cessed through the Zim­babwe Indige­nous Women’s farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Trust (ZIWFAT).

In an in­ter­view with The Sun­day Mail last week, ZIWFAT pres­i­dent Ms Depina Nkomo said, “We or­gan­ised women farm­ers and opened ac­counts for them. Each farmer is get­ting $1 000 from the money given to us by ZWMB. The money is as­sist­ing in buy­ing in­puts and farm­ing equip­ment.”

ZWMB, which opened in June, is a de­posit-tak­ing mi­cro­fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion tar­get­ing peo­ple with lim­ited ac­cess to con­ven­tional com­mer­cial banks, par­tic­u­larly women.

ZWMB head of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions Ms Bar­bara Muyengwa said the loan fa­cil­ity was part of the in­sti­tu­tion’s drive to em­power women.

“The bank’s man­date is to em­power all women eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially by pro­vid­ing ac­cess to af­ford­able and in­no­va­tive women-cen­tered fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and ser­vices,” she said.

“Our tar­get mar­ket in­cludes in­di­vid­u­als; or groups, clubs, co­op­er­a­tives and small to medium-sized en­ter­prises.”

“We have dif­fer­ent loan prod­ucts that suite dif­fer­ent groups and sec­tors. Many women have chal­lenges in pro­vid­ing col­lat­eral for loans. We are en­cour­ag­ing them to get into groups and then co-guar­an­tee each other.”

ZWMB of­fers train­ing in ba­sic fi­nan­cial skills and busi­ness man­age­ment.

Ms Muyengwa

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