$20bn agro bills to support farmers
AFC Land and Agriculture Development Bank together with Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) will raise $20 billion through agro bills.
The money will be used to support farmers in the 2021/22 summer season with funding for seed, fertilisers, chemicals, mechanisation, irrigation, electricity, labour, combine harvesting services and transport amongst others.
Programme beneficiaries will include smallholder, medium and large producers and input suppliers in the value chain.
Beneficiaries will be selected by the bank subject to internal credit vetting processes and policies.
The fund will be used to produce maize, soyabeans, traditional grains and sunflower.
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement’s state of preparedness for the 2021/22 summer cropping season indicates that the programme is targeting 100 000 hectares of maize to produce 300 000 tonnes.
Farmers will be funded to grow 40 000 hectares of maize under irrigation and 60 000 hectares under summer dryland.
Soyabean farmers will be supported to grow 10 000 hectares under irrigation and the same hectarage under dryland to produce 40 000 tones of the crop.
Farmers will also grow 7 000 hectares of traditional grains under dryland to give a harvest of 28 000 tonnes and 3 000 hectares of sunflower to produce 7, 5000 tonnes.
“All fertiliser and chemical companies have been given their contracts, ZFC, Windmill, FSG and others are the companies contracted to supply both basal and top-dressing fertilisers, said the report.
“The companies are expected to supply about 119,000 tonnes of basal fertiliser and also 119,000 tonnes of top-dressing fertilisers.
“Most of the basal fertiliser will be ready for distribution by end of August 2021.
“The seed supply contracts for both soyabean and maize will be finalised by end of July 2021 and the companies being engaged include SeedCo, K2, ARDA, Zadzamatura, Syngenta and Agriseeds. In addition, AFC and CBZ should work on LCs for the fertiliser and chemical companies,” said the Ministry.
The major chemical companies being engaged include Fossil Agro and CP Chemicals and Trek, Petrotrade and CMED are also being engaged for the supply of fuel.
The mandate of the AFC Holdings Group is to support the Government thrust for agriculture production, productivity and Food Systems Transformation towards the attainment of national food security and His Excellency Vision 2030: Towards a prosperous and empowered Middle Income Status by 2030.