Zimbabwe: $21mn fund for agriculture development "sitting" in banks' coffers, says expert

Sep 10, 2015

He claimed banks consider the commission for administering the fund "too low".

Zimbabwe banks have been accused of "sitting" on a $21 million (€19 million) fund destined to finance small farmers by the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Agriculture Development Trust (ZADT).

According to NewZimbabwe.com, Godfrey Zvinoira told delegates at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union's (ZFU's) 75th Annual Congress that banks consider the commission for administering the fund "too low".

"The banks are sitting on $21 million for small holder farmers' development. They are opting to lend their own money which has 18.5 per cent interest," he said.

The ZADT received the fund - which was disbursed through local financial institutions - from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and Ford Foundation for the development of the agro-sector.

Mr Zvinoira said he believes that local financial institutions do not have "adequate knowledge" of agribusiness financing and called on them to acquire such literacy.

"You find a banana farmer receiving a six months loan yet the cycle is more than that. They have a one size fits all which is a disadvantage to the farmer," he said.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801800090-ADNFCR