BancABC partner with ZICFU in mechanisation deal

Business Review Writers         

One of the country’s leading banks, BanABC has entered into a partnership with the Zimbabwe Integrated Commercial Farmers Union {ZIFCU} in which farmers affiliated to the union will access loans for the purchase of farming equipment.

The ZICFU represents 15 000 farmers in and outside the country and has various programmes aimed promoting economic growth among farmers

ZICFU Programmes Officer, Albert Kamunda said the programme was a collaborative approach between the banks and the union to develop farmers through mechanisation.

“We are saying every member of the union must first open an account with BancABC to access funding in any of the activities that they may require at farm level; so farmers are asked to approach machinery and equipment dealers of their choice as long as they are affiliated to the union and get a quotation on machinery, pick-up trucks and equipment of choice that will be sent to the bank,” he said.

Kamunda said the bank’s Business Development Unit would then do its checks and balances on the farmer’s profile, including farm visits upon which the farmer would be asked to pay a deposit of 20% to the bank.

The banks would then buy the equipment for the farmer, who would repay the loan in 24 months through an agreed off-take market of the farmer’s produce using the bank account.

Mechanisation of the agricultural sector helps to enhance agriculture productivity and increases power to agriculture to improve the productivity of human labour and to achieve far better results t

However, the mechanisation exercise has been facing several challenges including lack of financing, low uptake of mechanisation and the non-availability of infrastructure.

In 2007/08 the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe launched a farm mechanisation programme aimed at supporting the new commercial farmers after the land reform exercise.

The RBZ, through its subsidiary FISCORP, bought farming equipment worth US$200 million through

The equipment included tractors, planters, combine harvesters, disc ploughs and generators among others.

Kamunda said another local bank, NEDBANK, was also entering into a similar arrangement with the ZICFU where it would finance mechanisation. Irrigation and other farming infrastructure development projects.

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