Farmers fail to repay loans

Resettled farmers are failing to repay loans, resulting in their property being attached. Some farmers entered into tobacco contract farming but are accused of ‘’side-marketing’’ and dodging companies that offered them loans in previous farming seasons.

Mashonaland Tobacco Company and Golden Investment Drive are battling to recover several thousands of dollars they extended to farmers in loans. Former Kariba Zanu (PF) MP, Isaac Mackenzie of Mpofu River Farm, about 25km north of Karoi, admits that he owes GDI money and is set to lose a tractor that he used as collateral.

“I got $8,000 loan in 2008 that has since ballooned to $13,000. I cannot service the loan so they have to sell the tractor to recover their money,’’ the former MP, now the Nyaminyami Rural Council Secretary, told The Zimbabwean.

Gertrude Dube, widow of former Matabeleland South Governor, the late Mark Dube, who farms near Karoi town recently had a tractor, sprayers and irrigation pipes attached by GDI.

Nearly 30 resettled farmers had their property auctioned recently. Pieter Gertenbach, one of very few remaining commercial farmer, had generators, centre pivot, cars, water pumps, irrigation pipes and household goods attached after he failed to pay for chemicals amounting to over $120.000 to Benwick, a chemical company.

Both tobacco companies’ officials refused to comment on the cases but a consultant said most resettled farmers were “used to free inputs’’, thus their reluctance to service their loans.

“Some of these farmers were used to free inputs and were not taking farming as business but a past time and some were selling products for quick profits but these are the consequences,’’ said the official.

Post published in: Agriculture

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *