Agribank to incorporate leasing

Agribank to incorporate leasing
Published: 01 November 2013
The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development is working on a Statutory Instrument to allow Agribank to incorporate the functions of a lease bank as government tries to ensure accountability in the farming implements extended to farmers.

In the past, farming inputs such as tractors and bailers have been abused by farmers in a process that lacked transparency, a development that has prompted the government to intervene.

The two Deputy Ministers of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Davis Marapira and Paddy Zhanda, told farmers in Bulawayo recently that time for free inputs was long gone.

"We have agreed with my core deputy minister honourable Zhanda that we are no longer going to give anything for free," said Marapira, who is responsible for crops, mechanisation and irrigation development.

Zhanda is responsible for livestock.

"I think he (Zhanda) has already mentioned, everything is going through Agribank and we are trying to come up with an instrument whereby Agribank will be a lease bank as well."

Marapira said the move would ensure that only serious farmers remain in business.

"You go and lease a tractor; you go and lease your bailer and pay within the next five years. If you go for three months without paying, Agribank will simply go and collect and auction the item," said Marapira.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) past president, Donald Khumalo, said they were looking forward to that dispensation.

"The advantage of turning Agribank into a lease company is that Agribank will therefore now be involved at the capitalisation of the farmer's inputs especially the hardcore machinery and even the tractors," said Khumalo.

He said that would create a partnership arrangement between the farmer and Agribank which would promote competence by farmers and encourage the timely payment of bills.

"That, therefore, saves the integrity of the farmer but also compels the farmer to be more productive because one of the things we do not want is to lose tractors and equipment that you have in your farm that you have been using to produce," he said.

Khumalo added that the loans farmers have been getting from the government-owned bank over the years have been inadequate and did not benefit them as they were short-term.

- fingaz
Tags: Agribank, Leasing,


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