Wheat farmers squeal over high bank rates

Wheat farmers squeal over high bank rates

WHEAT farmers have said despite projections of a higher output this year, they are still dogged by several problems such as high interest charges and delayed payments by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

In May, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe drastically revised its interest policy, which pushed interest rates to 200%, from 120% previously.

The conference was held in the wake of government declaring a bumper wheat output of up to 380 000 tonnes this year, enough to feed the nation.

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) chief economist Antonette Chingwe said farmers were expecting an increase in wheat output.

“There are issues that need to be solved so that we are able to export our wheat,” she said.“Another challenge we have is access to funding. It is difficult for farmers as the borrowing costs are too high.“These result in reliance on contract farming,” she said, as she expressed reservations over the contract farming model.