Zimbabwe’s largest bank CBZ issues bonds under scheme to raise funds for maize, soy farming

HARARE, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s largest bank CBZ launched two bond issues on Monday, seeking to raise $80.6 million to finance maize and soybean farming, as the country faces another drought that could worsen an already dire economic situation.

The United Nations warned last week that the southern African nation faced a second successive poor harvest this year because of patchy rains, compounding problems for millions of people already grappling with last year’s drought and the worst economic crisis in a decade.

CBZ said in a notice it wanted to raise 500 million Zimbabwe dollars ($30.6 million) to purchase seeds, fertiliser and chemicals for maize and soybean production.

The bond has a tenor of 270 days and an interest rate of between 15% and 18%.

A second dollar-denominated bond worth $50 million with the same tenor seeks to raise money to import farming chemicals and fertilisers that are not available locally, CBZ said. The bank will pay 9.5% interest.

Maize is the country’s staple crop, while soybeans are used in the production of cooking oil and animal feed.

Under a new government-backed programme to ensure food security, CBZ buys farm products and issues farmers with vouchers to purchase them. The bank will then recoup its money from farmers who surrender part of their harvest. The bonds are guaranteed by the government.

Zimbabwe is nearly halfway through its summer crop season, but the rains have been poor, raising concerns that the government may not meet its growth target of 3.1% this year. Agriculture accounts for 17% of the country’s gross domestic product.

The poor rains will likely prolong 18-hour daily power cuts as dam water levels for the biggest hydro electricity plant remain precariously low.

Up to 8 million people, half Zimbabwe’s population, will require food aid this year after last year’s maize harvest fell by half, according to the United Nations.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Partner Content


THE COVID-19 GLOBAL pandemic has brought forward the future. It has brought about humanity’s biggest challenge in a century, to choose between...

Mauritius-Africa, a partnership for shared prosperity

By: Mathieu Mandeng In the current complex and challenging circumstances that are testing the...


The City of eThekwini pulled out all stops to give fans of the annual Vodacom Durban July (VDJ). The Virtual Vodacom Durban...

GAUTRAIN – Why It Matters

Economic growth continues to be one of the focus areas for the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) and the Gautrain responds to that...

Trending Now

As coronavirus steals jobs, urban Kenyans look to their rural families

“We did not have any money, and we needed to survive,” she said. “When it became apparent that hunger would kill us instead of the virus, we turned to our people back in the village.”

UK suffers biggest job losses since 2009 as COVID hits

The unemployment rate unexpectedly held at 3.9% but that reflected an increase in people who had given up looking for work and who were therefore not considered to be unemployed, and people who said they were in work but were getting no pay.

Snap ! Kodak shares plunge after U.S. blocks $765 million loan deal

(Reuters) - Shares of Eastman Kodak Co (KODK.N) fell about 40% on Monday and were on track for their worst single-day decline...

COMMENT: How Africa should used data and digital to protect itself.

Health is an investment in a nation’s wellbeing and a vehicle for national value creation. Healthy girls and boys go to school, healthy women and men contribute to society, live longer and lead more productive lives. Healthy people are able to save financially, vaccinate their children and do not place added strain on a country’s health infrastructure. There is a direct benefit to investment in healthcare and unlocking economic growth. If only it was that simple.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

- Advertisement -