To support increased productivity in agriculture, the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has required the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) to raise $100 million in Agri-bills.
AMA recently announced that it had received all regulatory approvals to raise funds through Agri-bills to support increased agricultural production.
The Agri-bill will provide affordable financing to farmers in the field of horticulture and oilseeds (cotton, sunflower, soybeans, peanuts, and sesame).
The AMA Agri-bills will be managed by the bank as financial advisor for the agricultural marketing department. According to the AFC, the AFC was able to raise $ 100 million through promissory notes ever since.
A farmer must be registered with a marketing authority and meet other qualifications to qualify for a loan under the $ 100 million program.
Smallholder farmers in all parts of the country are encouraged to take up the loan to maximize profits from their horticulture operation.
By facilitating and structuring the financing through different instruments to support the production of agricultural products, the initiative is part of AMA’s overall plans to support agriculture.
As outlined in the Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan, the loans will promote the development of the horticultural sector. Furthermore, the ongoing agricultural transformation relies heavily on promoting access to affordable financing.
Horticulture has been identified by Zimbabwe’s Second Republic as a possible means of capturing and exploiting the high-value export market.
In addition to macadamia nuts, sweet potatoes, and avocados, which are capable of being cultivated with minimal resources, sweet potatoes have proven to be very popular on the export market.
A solid foundation has been laid for harnessing the potential of rural agriculture by the Presidential Rural Horticulture scheme.
By providing villagers with sweet potato and cassava plant materials, establishing nutrition and income gardens and youth orchards, have increased incomes and improved livelihoods.
Moreover, horticulture’s success is determined by access to inputs and best practices, as well as knowledge of the market. Therefore, this financing will help the industry to grow well.
The Agricultural Finance Corporation has, on the other hand, maintained its strong financial position, with revenue of ZWL$8,7 billion in historical cost terms during the year ended December 2020. This represents an increase of 467% in assets year-over-year.
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