Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Give resettled farmers title: banker

Give resettled farmers title: banker

by Naume Muza     Tuesday 04 October 2011

KADOMA — Zimbabwe’s government should give title to black villagers 
resettled on former white commercial farms newly to pave way for banks to 
lend to the new farmers against their properties, one of the country’s 
leading bankers has said.

TN Bank founder Tawanda Nyambirai said only when farmers hold title that is 
transferable to other parties would they be able to use it as collateral to 
secure loans from banks they need to boost production.

The government has not given resettled farmers title to land arguing that 
doing so could see banks seizing land from defaulting borrowers and later to 
transferring it to the rich with capacity to pay for it.

But Nyambirai, in a speech to mark the official opening of the Kadoma 
agricultural show here, failure to give title to farmers was a major 
obstacle to them securing funding from banks that are reluctant to give 
unsecured loans.

He said: “Our Government needs to encourage the flow of capital as the 
banking sector is strained to assist farmers due to (an unclear) land tenure 
system. Government must come up with a proper land tenure system that gives 
certainty on the part of the resettled farmers that he is on the land today 
but will not be kicked out tomorrow.

“The Government must give the same assurance to the banking sector that the 
land is transferable to a second market in case there is default by farmers 
who could have taken financial loans.”

The new farmers have in the past relied on free or heavily marked down seed, 
fertilizer and other inputs from the government. But analysts say banks and 
other private funders need to resume funding agriculture even a nascent 
recovery in they sector is to be sustainable.

The agriculture sector has this year shown encouraging signs of rebounding 
after a decade of decline blamed on President Robert Mugabe’s chaotic and 
often violent seizure of white-owned farmland for redistribution to blacks.

Rising output of tobacco and cotton, two of Zimbabwe’s main farm exports, 
was driving recovery in the agricultural sector that was the engine of the 
economy before farm seizures began in 2000.

But Zimbabwe will still need food assistance from international donors 
because although food production is on the rise it is still short of 

Analysts credit the recovery in agriculture  — and the economy in 
eneral  — to the 2009 formation of a coalition government between Mugabe 
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Although the unity government has been rocky it has managed to stabilise the 
economy, while its introduction of multiple foreign currencies in place of 
the worthless Zimbabwe dollar helped reinvigorate farmers and encourage them 
to return to their fields in anticipation of real earnings. — ZimOnline


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