ZCFU president, Mr. Donald Khumalo said the loan scheme of $600 000 initiated with a local bank is inadequate as it can only cover 300 out of the targeted 500 hectares countrywide.
He said there is a need for more players in the private sector to partner with his organisation to make it easier for farmers to access loans, adding that biggest challenge for the farmers currently is accessing the seed which is sold at $2 000 and covers one hectare only.
Umguza Irrigation Farmers Association Chairperson, Mr. Gibbons Gumede urged farmers to take up the loan scheme saying they should prepare their project proposals and forward to Trust Bank where they will be required to pay a deposit of $200 to cover administration and insurance charges.
Demand for potatoes has been high since the banning of the South African product which put local farmers at a disadvantage as they incur higher production costs than their South African counterparts.
One hectare of potatoes can produce 40 tonnes, raking in $20 000 for the farmer.