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Zimbabwe resettled farmers drowning in debt

An estimated 90 percent of the country’s resettled farmers have failed to settle their loans with banks, with financial institutions now reluctant to lend, an official said yesterday.

“The biggest challenge that the banks face is this big animal known as Non-Performing loans. I can say with confidence that 90 percent of our farmers that got land and are able to farm have got bad debts from one bank to another,” Agribank agriculture development executive director Francis Macheka told a consultative meeting on horticulture revival.

Macheka said it is unfortunate that despite non-payment, farmers expect banks to scrap collateral security requirements when borrowing.

“On the back of that, farmers still think banks should not take collateral security for loans,” he said.

Since Zimbabwe embarked on the fast track land reform programme in the early 2000s, lack of title deeds had been cited as one of the major obstacles to improving productivity on farms as banks contended there was no security on which they could give the farmers loans.- The Source

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