LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

CBZ Holdings has set aside $110 million to fund small and large scale farmers in the 2018/19 summer cropping season.

The CBZ loans will be accessed at 12 percent per annum. However, the bank is also offering the central bank’s Horticulture and Tobacco Support Facilities at a range of between 7,5 percent and 10 percent.

CBZ Marketing and Corporate Affairs group executive Laura Gwatiringa told Business Times that the bank is ready to finance any agricultural project.

“CBZ Bank has been funding agricultural activities in Zimbabwe and this coming season 2018/2019 we have set aside $110 million which we are ready to increase if demand exceeds that figure,” said Gwatiringa.

“Our targeted market includes A1, A2 and Small Scale Commercial farmers. We fund any agricultural related activity ranging from inputs, equipment, infrastructure etc. There are special facilities for those who are exporting mainly in horticulture and tobacco farming.

“The exportable crops are our main priorities in support of the government’s drive to earn more foreign currency. The specific crops are tobacco, citrus, cut flowers, stone fruit and vegetables. We encourage both small scale and large scale farmers to venture into farming for export,” she said.

The bank’s thrust is to fund the whole farming value chain as is such working hand in glove with development finance agencies and agriculture marketing agencies like Grain Marketing Board and Agricultural Marketing Authority.

Gwatiringa said AMA had retained CBZ Bank as the financial adviser and facilitator in fundraising through the floating of AMA bills.

CBZ’s support for the smallholder farmers is in tandem with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s aspirations for financial inclusion aimed at embracing unbanked societies.

In most instances the bank advances additional fees for other farming activities which include horticulture, wheat, maize, piggery, poultry, soya, cotton, dairy, beef and crocodile farming.