Government ropes in private sector for agriculture financing

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By Alois Vinga

THE government’s withdrawal from financing command agriculture will pave way for the private sector to take over and support farmers, treasury officials have said.

Speaking at a post-budget media briefing in Harare Wednesday finance minister Mthuli Ncube said that the programme had delivered and new financiers should come on board.

“No one doubts the impact of the command agriculture programme which has seen the country surpassing the strategic grain reserve,” he said.

“As we move on, there are players who have been missing in supporting the initiative like the private sector, so we are working to crowd them in and see them take over.”

The minister pointed out that the issue the 99-year lease agreements issued to resettled farmers would be improved to make them bankable.

“Industrial companies which rely on agricultural raw materials must also get into the out-grower schemes; these measures will ensure that command agriculture is sustainable,” he added.