ZIMBABWE – The Vietnam based agricultural bank, Agribank has secured a US$30 million line of credit from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDCSA) to boost the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.

The funding will be used to support agri-based firms including fertiliser and chemical companies; livestock and dairy producers; soya and oil seed producers; pharmaceuticals; and water treatment chemicals in the 2018/19 cropping season.

IDCSA through its board’s investment committee is targeting to improve the country’s agricultural sector that in the long run plays a key role in boosting the economy.

According to Agribank chief executive officer Mr Sam Malaba, the support will help provide the needed foreign exchange in support of productive sectors even as the country’s recovers from forex pressures.

“The bank has secured an IDCSA line of credit to the tune of $30 million for support to the agriculture sector.

The bank is most grateful for the support from IDCSA, which should assist recovery in the agricultural sector,” said Mr Malaba.

According to him, Agribank and FBC Bank have deliberately agreed to expand their agricultural interventions in support of Government’s efforts to expand agricultural production and productivity by doubling the Agro bills funding to US$40 million.

In regard to this, Agribank and FBC Bank jointly raised a cumulative total of US$65 million and the latter will settle the bills on maturity.

Agribank which is expanding its support to the agricultural sector targeting $105 million agricultural financing, is in the market to raise $40 million through Agro bills in conjunction with FBC Bank.

A similar credit was secured by the Agribank from IDCSA in 2011 to bring relief to cash-strapped sectors of the economy.

Agribank had received a similar facility ($30 million) the previous year which was disbursed to several productive sectors, with a third of it going to agricultural sectors.