MBCA Bank, a unit of South Africa’s Nedbank Group, will lend $65 million to Zimbabwean tobacco farmers this year, spokeswoman Dedrey Mutimutema said.
“These lines of credit have been structured in such a manner that they will fund the entire value chain in the production of green-leaf tobacco,” Mutimutema said in an e- mailed statement from Harare.
“The funds will cover input financing, grower financing, processing, export logistics as well as export debtors.”
The funds will come from Nedbank and Egypt-based Africa Export Import Bank, she said.
Tobacco is planted between September and November in Zimbabwe.
The country may sell 150 million kilograms of the crop this year, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
While output of the leaves is recovering, it’s still below peak levels of about 236 million kilograms achieved in 2000. Zimbabwe mostly produces flue-cured Virginia tobacco.
The crop was Zimbabwe’s biggest export earner before 2000, when President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party began seizing white-owned commercial farms leading to a collapse in output.