Players in the hunting industry in Matabeleland North province are failing to use their farms as collateral when they submit applications for bank loans because the government is still to finalise the 99 year leases.
Although government launched 99 years leases, the A2 farmers in Matabeleland North province are still to get them, hence are not in a position to take advantage of loan facilities being availed for the tourism sector.
The banks accept 99 year leases as collateral but A2 farmers are only in possession of offer letters, making it impossible to submit applications for bank loans.
Matetsi A2 Association Vice Chairperson Mr Lot Mumpande said the effect is felt by farmers who feel they have to improve on their infrastructure in the hunting camps, game water supply, anti-poaching, marketing and preservation of the ecosystem among other areas.
“There was an argument to say the hunting industry do not need the 99 year lease because it’s too long a period and I am not too sure whether that matter was resolved. Yes in some parts of the country where they are doing some crop farming or livestock, they got them but all those within this area at least within the Matetsi or the Hwange area or Gwayi did not receive the 99 year leases,” said Mumpande.
Professional hunter Mr Wayne Dietrechsen confirmed the industry needs funding to be made available; adding professional hunters will put their documents together to take advantage of the $15 million facility availed for the tourism sector earlier this year.
“Right now we just struggling a bit in terms of vehicles and assets and all that you know but to take out clients we have no problem doing that, we have our areas and all that so we are certainly capable of entertaining clients of all levels here in Zimbabwe, he said.
The industry is already approaching its peak season which begins next month with indications showing big business from Americans as well as European clients.