Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe financial advisory firm funds potato farming

Zimbabwe financial advisory firm funds potato farming

13-08-2012 10:16 AM

A Zimbabwe financial advisory firm has mobilised funding for a potato 
contract farming scheme for the 2012-2013 season to reduce the country’s 
dependence on regional imports.

Patridge Sibanda, the KM Financial Solutions business development executive, 
said US$350 000 has been mobilised for the scheme targeting youths aged 
between 25-35 years.

“We are targeting small scale farmers to take up more than one hectare.

“The amount of money to be disbursed will be determined by the number of 
farmers that register for the scheme,” Sibanda said in an interview.

Sibanda said this is not the first time that the financial advisory firm has 
mobilised funding for agricultural production.

“We have been funding farmers in the last two years and in 2011 alone we 
supported 1000 farmers to do 2000 hectares of tobacco.”

He indicated that the response from potato farmers has been overwhelming 
given the failure of the country’s banks to fund agriculture owing to a 
liquidity crisis.

Government has declared potatoes as a strategic and potential food security 
crop to promote its farming.

However, the Zimbabwe Farmers Development Trust notes that despite having 
generated a lot of interest, potato farming has been hampered by the high 
costs of production.

Power outages have also affected irrigation of the crop.

The cost of producing a hectare of potato seed is US$9 000 that is further 
compounded by fuel and labour costs.


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