Bank avails$10m for small grains

Source: Bank avails$10m for small grains | The Herald October 16, 2019

Bank avails$10m for small grainsMandas Marikanda

Michael Tome Business Reporter

Zimbabwe Women Micro-Finance Bank (ZWMB) says it will be availing an approximate $10 million funding towards small grains production especially in the dry regions of the country for the oncoming 2019/20 farming season.

Capital injection towards drought resistant crops has evidently been necessitated by the need to curb hunger instances around the country considering climatic changes particularly in Zimbabwe where the nation experienced an El Nino induced drought last year. The bank which made inroads in the financial sector mid last year says it will be sponsoring the production of crops that include legumes, cowpeas, sorghum, finger millet and rapoko   among other crops for the forthcoming season.

In an interview with the Herald Finance & Business, ZWMB Chief executive officer, Mandas Marikanda said her institution was extending assistance to the financially excluded groups like women and youths adding that her bank was leading in support of budding farmers.

“ZWMB will be directing an estimated $10 million towards small grains production this approaching agriculture season. We therefore encourage women and youths depending with their regions to take up production of the crops. When it comes to command agriculture we are the first bank that is dealing with micro farmers, we believe small amounts contributions made by women and youths will bring more yield for the nation compared to few large farmers, that’s why we are willing to extend loans to these particular groups,” she said.

To date the bank has made strides in driving the financial inclusion initiative having opened over 60 000 accounts from its inception just over a year ago. Over $12 million worth of loans have been expended for varied entrepreneurial reasons.

“We are working with marginalised women and we have a strong presence in the rural areas from the ward level. As it stands within a year we achieved a landmark of over 60 000 opened accounts in operations so far and of the 60 000 accounts, 35 000 have already accessed the loans in excess of $12 million,” Mrs Marikanda said.

Some of the bank loans disbursed have helped women who are adding value to agricultural products such as sorghum, sunflower, potato, sesame and cotton. Caster bean farmers and livestock producers have also benefited.