tendai biti ed 18-10-10.jpgFinance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti has confirmed his Ministry’s release of US$ 30 million to the Ministry of Agriculture for the 2010/11 agricultural season.

 

Minister Biti said a further US$ 54 million will be released to the small holder sector.

He also said a finance package will soon be released to larger commercial farmers through some commercial banks, including Agribank.

Mr Biti was responding to the preparedness for this year’s agricultural season, saying they are better prepared this year than the previous years.

“I have no doubt that this year [2010/11 season], we are better prepared as compared to last season. We had fertilisers which were carried over from last year, the fertilisers worth about US$ 20  million and now we have given the Agriculture Ministry US$ 30 million for the purchase of fertiliser and seed.

 

“Then we have US$ 54 million that is going to the bonds so that you guys [farmers] will go to the banks and access loans that will enable you to farm,” said Minister Biti.

He said he recently attended a series of World Bank organised meetings in Washington, USA, which revealed that the inhibiting factor for Zimbabwe to access more loans was the debt the country owes the bank.

“Last year alone, the World Bank gave African countries about US$ 14 billion in one fund and the ADB gave about US$ 9 billion in one fund, and the other small little funds which give you a sum of US$ 40 billion that were given to African countries in 1 year alone. We missed the boat because of these arrears,” Minister Biti said.

 

Mr Biti however said he has held discussions with the African Development Bank (ADB) to pay some of the debts so that Zimbabwe can become eligible to access loans.