Government launches the Horticulture Export Revolving Fund

Source: Government launches the Horticulture Export Revolving Fund | Sunday News (Business)

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter

GOVERNMENT has launched a US$30 million Horticulture Export Revolving Fund that is expected to see the recovery and growth of the horticulture sector as a major driving force in the development of agriculture.

Officially launching the facility on Thursday, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube said the facility was in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NSD 1) and the 2022 National Budget Statement on the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation.

“You may recall that in the formulation of the NDS1, Government committed to not only grow the agriculture sector as a major driver of our economic growth, but to increase the value of agricultural production through value addition and beneficiation.

“The main objective is to transform Zimbabwe’s economic structure from one highly dependent on the export of agricultural raw materials, to an economy trading in high value processed goods,” said Prof Ncube.

“The setting up of a US$30 million Horticulture Export Revolving Fund in line with the 2022 National Budget Statement on the SDR allocation, will go a long way in empowering our farmers to start horticulture projects.”

The Minister said as announced in the 2022 National Budget Statement that that Zimbabwe had been allocated US$958 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it was from these resources that Treasury was targeting strategic sectors such as horticulture expansion and value addition.

He said the sector has potential to generate foreign currency earnings and create jobs that will have a multiplier effect in growing the economy.

Prof Ncube said: “The Horticulture Export Revolving Fund has the potential to close the funding gap and spearhead increased productivity, as well as finance bankable projects with a focus on the value addition.”

“Such strategic deployment of resources will ensure that Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 remains on course as we target an upper middle-income society by 2030 and enables Zimbabwe to restore its position as one of the leading horticultural exporting countries in the region.”

He said the facility will be accessed through the normal banking channels where eligible export horticulture applicants are required to submit their requests to the participating banks with the requisite information.

“To this end the Government of Zimbabwe, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, FBC Bank, NMB Bank, CABS Bank and the AFC Land and Development Bank have signed the Memorandum of Agreement and Term Sheet for the Horticulture Export Revolving Fund.”

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuku said they were pleased about the facility that would go a long way in financing the gap that has been constraining the growth and development of the horticulture, one of the key sub-sectors of the agriculture sector.

He said with the horticulture recovery growth in motion, the country was moving in the right direction in terms of getting back to those glory numbers where Zimbabwe used to export US$143 million a year in terms of horticultural exports.

Dr Masuka said: “The facility is a revolving fund and as such Government expects that beneficiaries will repay loans made available to them so that other farmers may also benefit.”

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