GOVERNMENT has confirmed it reached an agreement with financial institutions that will culminate in A2 farmers using their 99 year leases to access loans from banks.
Since government introduced the 99 year lease banks were weary of accepting them as they did not fully cover them in the event of default.
However, in the Transitional Stabilization Programme (TSP) presented today government indicates bankers have accepted amendments made to the original 99 year lease.
“Government engaged financial institutions on bankable 99 lease, culminating in recent amendments acceptable to the banking sector, over and above enforcement of the rule of law and guaranteeing security of tenure under the new dispensation.
Currently, banks are still reluctant to accept the 99 year lease also on account of tradability a major impediment to acceptability. Government remains available to overcome any challenges that might be encountered by farmers and banks with regards to acceptability, for borrowing from local banks of the new version of Zimbabwe’s 99- year land lease issued to farmers”.
Government said it will expeditiously issue farmers with the 99 year lease to ensure they can invest in the farms but the Zimbabwe Land Commission (ZLC) mandated to recommend farmers to get leases said only 148 farmers were recommended last year out of 188 applicants.
BAZ president Webster Rusere in an interview at this year‘s edition of the Harare Agriculture Show (HAS) said they had seen the final document and their concerns with the initial document were addressed.
“We want the 99 year document finalized we have seen the final document and are happy with it, we now wait for the farmers to approach our membership with their proposals. Collateral is not the major issue but the viability and the proposal and expertise of those pushing the proposal. Our concerns with the lease have been addressed,” said Rusere.
An economist who spoke on condition of anonymity said issuance of title deeds rather than 99 year lease was the best way forward as it would confer certain rights that include giving value to the land.
“The mid- long term sustainability of agriculture requires title deeds. We require a strong policy position on land security and once that is done everything else will fall into place,” said the economist.