Zimbabwe: Bank loans out of reach for farmers without land titles (Trust)

| July 25, 2016

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Farmers in Zimbabwe are struggling to invest in their land, because without title deeds, they do not have the security of land ownership—or collateral for a bank loan.

Charles Samuriwo received land in 2001 as part of the government’s program to redistribute land taken from white farmers. But 15 years later, he still does not have security of tenure or a title deed, which leaves him without collateral for a bank loan that could pay for machinery or seeds for his tobacco farm.

While the government has offered 99-year land leases and permits to some farmers, fewer than 200 have been issued. Banks have also refused to recognize the leases as collateral for loans.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he is aware of the issue and is in discussions with banks to improve the “bankability” of these leases.

Paul Zakaria is the executive director of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union. He said farmers need leases or title deeds to give them the security and confidence to invest in their farming business.

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Photo credit: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo