ZANU PF launched a $2,4 billion agriculture revolving fund in Harare yesterday which is expected to see over 800 000 new farmers receive over $3 000 each in agricultural support in the 2014/15 farming season.
The programme was a joint venture between Zanu PF youth league and Lasch, a local company.
Company managing director Evan Zininga said beneficiaries would receive inputs worth$3 000 each.
Zanu PF youth and other stakeholders would be tasked to make follow ups to ensure that the inputs were not abused.
“There will be no exchange of cash. We are not working with liquid money. We will get supplies that are guaranteed by government and banks,” Zininga said.
“There will be life and credit insurance to ensure those farmers pay back the money. Government will guarantee and all farmers will access that bond.”
He said the programme was non-partisan. Farmers needing over $10 000 would be required to submit proposals, while those requiring $3 000 automatically qualify. Farmers would form clusters for easy monitoring.
Zimbabwe has in the past launched several agricultural schemes, but most of them collapsed, with beneficiaries — most of them Zanu PF supporters and officials — failing to pay back.
“There will be water-tight securities this time. Experts like agronomists will be dispatched to ensure effective utilisation of the support,” Zininga added.
A 10% interest would be levied on farmers, he said. First Mutual Insurance Company will provide life cover, while Hamilton provides credit cover.
Speaking at the same event, Agriculture minister Joseph Made urged farmers to be more productive and capitalise on the ban on genetically-modified foods in Russia on June 4 to export organic products.
Shurugwi South MP Anastancia Ndlovu, who is also Zanu PF secretary for lands in the Women’s League said government should provide land to youths so that they play a key role in farming.