Zimbabwe’s financial sector is considering raising more funds for on-lending to the agricultural sector during the 2019/2020 summer cropping season following the successful mobilisation of 40 million dollars by two banks from agro-bills.

State owned agricultural financial utility, Agribank, and FBC Bank have managed to raise 40 million dollars for lending to farmers after floating agro-bills that were oversubscribed by investors.

Agribank Chief Economist, Mr Joseph Mverecha confirmed the latest development, adding that the huge demand for loans in the country and the economic environment requires them to raise more funds.

“The agro-bills were oversubscribed beyond our expectations. The current economic environment requires us to raise more money but this is subject to approval from government, which we are engaging,” noted Mverecha.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) Agronomist, Mr Prince Kuipa, said affordable lending terms are needed in light of the high cost of inputs.

“Lending conditions need to be relaxed to enable more farmers to borrow so that they can improve production. The current conditions do not allow for more farmers to lend,” said Kuipa.

The seasonal rainfall forecast from October to December 2019 in Harare, much of Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Matabeleland, most parts of Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, North eastern part of Midlands has been forecast to be normal and biased to above normal rains.

In Masvingo and the extreme southern parts of Manicaland and the bulk of Matabeleland South, normal to below normal rainfall is anticipated from January to March 2020.

The raising of funds by the banks is expected to improve production and ensure food security in the country.