Zimbabwe: Us$2m for Cane Farmers

Local financial institutions continue to show their faith in strides being made to grow the local economy under the Second Republic with a leading bank pouring US$2 million to capacitate indigenous sugar cane farmers in the Lowveld to ramp up output.

CABS availed a facility to assist cane farmers increase production with the financial war-chest enough to rehabilitate over 1 000 hectares of cane fields to push up yields.

The move by the financial institution comes as other local banks such as FBC and ZB are also financing the US$40 million Kilimanjaro Sugar Cane project which seeks to ramp up aggregate national sucrose output by opening new cane fields.

Zimbabwe earns more than US$70 million annually from exports and increasing yields and the area under cane augurs well with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 which seeks to make the country an upper middle income society within the next decade.

Working capital constraints have been one of the key stumbling blocks to efforts by commercial cane farmers to increase yields resulting in depressed output.

Low yields resulted in some farmers being left tottering on the verge of collapse in the capital and labour intensive sugar cane farming industry.

The intervention by CABS is expected to drive up sugar output.

Tongaat Huletts Zimbabwe managing director Mr Aiden Mhere noted that ramping up yield was key in ensuring viability by commercial cane farmers.

“CABS has a US$2million facility aimed at assisting struggling farmers to increase their yields through rehabilitation of their fields among other interventions that are affected by shortage of working capital.”

“The bank(CABS) inked the facility with us(Tongaat) and interested farmers can come forward and get assistance. The money is enough to cover about 1100ha, said Mr Mhere.

The Tongaat Hulett managing director underscored the importance of new farmers increasing their average yield per hectare.


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