BancABC ploughs $23m in sugarcane production

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Tinashe Makichi

BancABC has invested $23m towards sugarcane production, as the financial services group consolidates its presence in this previously underserviced but critical sector.

This gesture comes as the financial services firm continues to see brighter prospects amid rising demand for sugar locally and on the export market.

The investment made by Atlas Mara’s 98,7 percent owned BancABC was designed for small-scale sugarcane farmers based in the Lowveld.

The financial services firm has to date funded about 500 farmers who have average farm sizes of 20 hectares (10 hectares minimum).

BancABC Zimbabwe managing director Joe Sibanda told Business Times that funding sugarcane production remains a priority for the banking institution as the sector is showing no stress on the back of the current economic challenges.

“Funding sugarcane production remains a viable route for the bank because it is a sector that has a ready market both locally and on the export side. For that reason we will continue to avail funds for this sector,” Sibanda said.

On the whole, the BancABC sugarcane farming project has resulted in average yields rising from about 23 tonnes per hectare in 2011 to 72 tonnes per ha in the 2014/ 2016 seasons despite erratic rains.