Agricultural finance is indispensable for enhancing productive capacity in both small-scale and commercial farming. This study sought to establish the current status of agricultural financing by 12 registered and operational commercial banks in Zimbabwe in the year 2019. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect data. SPSS and NVivo were used for data analysis. All the commercial banks participated in agricultural financing with an average agricultural loan portfolio of 30%. However, their participation in agricultural lending is yet to reach the pre-land reform maximum of 91.3% attained in 1999. Land tenure and weather risks, as well as lack of collateral among farmers reduced the banks’ appetite for lending to the agricultural sector. The majority of the commercial banks offered value chain finance, invoice finance, overdraft facilities, and term loans to agricultural sector clients that mainly included; suppliers, medium-scale, and large-scale commercial farmers. The study established a mismatch in the demand and supply of loans in the medium to long term tenure range of 1 to more than 3 years. There was low demand for 1-3-year tenure loans according to the commercial banks, and a corresponding deficit in the supply of highly demanded longer-term loans of more than 3 years for capital expenditure (CAPEX). Therefore, government should aim to; stabilize currency; arrest hyperinflation; restore economic stability; address land tenure to ensure the bankability of the 99-year Lease; and create an environment that is conducive for investment in climate and weather resilience infrastructure. Local farmers should also invest in human and physical capital to improve their access to bank credit.
JEL Code: Q14
The labour intensive nature of Zimbabwean agriculture demands that farmers meet excessive labour requirements, at the same time keeping labour costs as low as possible to guarantee profits and achieve maximum business performance. This study, carried through a questionnaire survey, at the Hunyani Matura Farm, in the Zvimba district of Zimbabwe between from October 2017 to March 2018, investigated the effect of employment mode on turnover and agri-business performance. Data collected from the participants, was compared with the information from secondary source documents. From the results temporary workers performed better than permanent workers and they cited problems of low wages, poor working conditions, high work targets, inequality in work allocation, job insecurity and constant shuffling. Temporary workers had higher turnover and turnover intentions than permanent workers. Temporary employment mode had a positive
effect on agri-business performance. This study recommends the use of permanent employment mode on key positions like forepersons, stores persons and supervisors, and temporary employment mode on general farm tasks, while seasonal contracts were seen good for skill demanding operations such as tobacco seedbed establishment, tobacco reaping and curing and grading. A ccareful selection of employment modes reduces inequalities and unhealthy attitudes at work and improves on farm business performance.
JEL Classification: Q12