By Ndafadza Madanha

She said among the key products offered by the bank was the Value Chain Finance (VCF) which has helped thousands of women in the country.

ZIMBABWE Women’s Micro Finance Bank (ZWMB) has disbursed over $3.8m worth of loans to various women groups and individuals since it started operations last year.

The bulk of the loans have gone to women in agriculture and mining with a total of $2.8m disbursed to the sectors.
Addressing the parliamentary committee on Women ZWMB chief executive Mandas Marikanda, said the institution was committed to improving the livelihoods of women throughout the country.

She said among the key products offered by the bank was the Value Chain Finance (VCF) which has helped thousands of women in the country.

Among the beneficiaries of the scheme include the Gokwe VCF for sorghum, cotton and sesame which has benefited over 5 000 farmers in the district and is supported to the tune of almost $1m.

The bank has also supported over 120 women farmers to produce sorghum whose off-taker is Delta.

Another 500 farmers in Chipinge have benefited from over $75 000 sorghum VCF provided by the bank.

In Makonde over 750 farmers have benefited from Sesame VCF to the tune of $112 000 while in Mbire a Sorghum VCF has supported 160 farmers to the tune of $39 000.

Marikanda told the committee that the bank had also partnered with a local Life Agriculture Services for the production of castor bean which had the potential to earn foreign currency for marginalized women.

She said under the castor bean VCF 100 farmers had benefited to the tune of $100 000 and the bank was looking to support 80 000 farmers.

Marikanda said the bank had taken a deliberate risk to support women in the VCF as they have a track record of delivering and work in groups therefore making it easy for the bank to recover loans.

Chief Finance officer for the bank Bright Magura also told the committee that the bank was likely to run loses for the next three years considering the nature of its operations.

He said the bank had to date received $7.5m of the $10m seed capital promised by government while $2.5m was issued as Treasury Bills with a maturity date of 2027.

Of the $7.5m seed capital half of it was used to start up operations and pay employment cost for the first year and the other half was loaned out to its clientele.

Magura said of the $10m committed to the bank this year $5m has been released while the second tranche is expected in the second half.



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