INDIA’S largest combine harvester and tractor’s manufacturer Preet, is in the process of negotiating a $100 million credit facility for Zimbabwe, a move that will assist farmers to purchase farming equipment on credit, Agro Innovations director Tongai Saurombe has said.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Zimbabwe has experienced perennial maize deficits in the past decade as most of the new farmers faced challenges such as erratic rains, lack of finance, equipment, seed and fertilisers.
Preet entered into a partnership with Agro Innovations, a Zimbabwean company for distribution of the equipment.
Saurombe said Preet has approached banks in India to extend a $100 million credit facility to support the agriculture revolution in Zimbabwe.
“Preet has approached banks in India for a $100 million credit facility. We are working with other two Zimbabwean banks to help in the distribution of the lines of credit to farmers. We hope it will be done by end of August or early September, we are trying to have it all in place by the beginning of the summer cropping season,” Saurombe said.
He said the loans will be payable over a period of three to five years.
Saurombe said Agro Innovations was in a dealership agreement with Preet and the nature of the agreement in the next two years was to set up a local manufacturing plant if the demand for the tractors grows.
“The agriculture revolution has to include machinery to revolutionarise the sector. Our banks have no capacity to lend at the moment, so we have asked Preet to come up with a package to assist Zimbabwe,” Saurombe said.
An Agro Annovations is headquartered in Harare and is the distributor of Preet tractors and combine harvesters.
Saurombe said the Preet products were being distributed to countries like Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Preet manufactures low-cost and fuel-efficient tractors in 35-90 HP range and combine harvesters that are fitted with latest technology engines and are best suited for tough Indian conditions.