RBZ transfers $6 million Command Livestock to Agribank

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LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has transferred the $6 million fund for Command Livestock to Agribank after realising that Homelink Financial Services which it had given the facility earlier has few branches to distribute the heifers nationwide.

The development comes at a time when the programme was moving slowly due to inaccessibility of the funds and poor distribution networks.

Homelink managing director Desmund Ali told Business Times that the latest move is expected to increase efficiency on the distribution of livestock across all provinces.

“Having seen the rate at which Command Livestock was being drawn down, we decided to surrender the facility back to central bank to ensure it moves according to  plan. RBZ finally gave the facility to Agribank which they thought would distribute it better due to various branches they have across the country.

He said that  of the six provinces that the RBZ subsidiary was supposed to cater for, only two Matebeleland provinces were attended to.

Earlier in the year, government  availed a $10 million for the purchase of cattle for Matabeleland North and South provinces. As at August 28, Matabeleland North had taken delivery of 844 heifers while Matabeleland South had received 1 384.

Subject to availability of nostro funds, Sakunda had undertaken to fund the importation of more heifers from neighbouring countries, to augment the national herd.

Command Livestock programme was introduced as part of an extension of the Special Maize Programme for Import Substitution (Command Agriculture).