The local agriculture sector is expected to unlock $1.5 billion in 5-years and create 90 000 jobs following the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between government and FinComEco aimed at developing and financing commodities markets.

Under the agreement signed in Mauritius on 16 March between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement and FinComEco, a fully integrated financial and commodities ecosystem, the parties will jointly develop a range of platforms, projects and initiatives in the agricultural commodity markets sector in Zimbabwe.

FinComEco with local partners will then establish a joint venture company to develop high impact initiatives facilitating agricultural value chain efficiencies through provision of strategic value-added services comprising an electronic warehouse receipt system (EWRS), exchanges, trading platforms, commodities and input finance and electronic banking, training and capacity building.

A commodities exchange will also be established.

Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Retired Air Chief Marshall Perrance Shiri said this collaboration sets Zimbabwe on track to becoming the bread basket of Africa and beyond with access to international markets.

Co-chairman of FinComEco Mr Hirander Misra expressed delight to be working with the government of Zimbabwe to facilitate positive economic and social impact for farming communities and related sectors.

He added the whole FinComEco ecosystem will be based on the set-up of the Zimbabwe commodities exchange, optimising agricultural inputs, facilitating access to finance and credit facilities, provision of warehousing and logistic facilities to enable GDP growth and job creation.