Story by Stanley James, Business Editor
THE private sector, including banks are partnering government in raising funds for the 2023 wheat cropping season.
After achieving a record milestone of 375 000 tonnes of wheat last year, Zimbabwe is looking forward to a further increase in production.
Outlining the 2023 wheat financing roadmap, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Dr John Basera revealed that several companies and banks are taking part in funding small scale and large-scale production of the strategic crop.
“Zimbabwe is targeting to utilise over 85 000 hectares of land in planting wheat with a view of even surpassing the previous year record high,” he said.
“There are some interventions that need to be looked at, however, especially the issue of financing in that regard banks such as AFC Land Bank and CBZ Agro- Yield are already in the process of finalising loans to the farmers while the private sector is also actively involved in raising money for the entire winter cropping season,” he emphasised.
Adequate funding has been cited as an important element in increasing output.
“Value chains in the form of self-sufficiency, affordable pricing systems for related products and continuous reduction in import bill are some of the key merits that will accrue on the back of sufficient support from banks and the private sector as the nation seeks to consolidate gains emanating from last year’s record output,” added Bhasera.
As the nation gears towards food self-sufficiency by the year 2030, reliable irrigation systems, adequate mechanisation, sufficient power supplies, cheap funding models and increased out-grower schemes are also expected to anchor this year’s winter wheat production for Zimbabwe.