Govt, banks finalise new 99-year leases

Govt, banks finalise new 99-year leases

Sep 22, 2023 - 20:08
Sep 22, 2023 - 20:09
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Govt, banks finalise new 99-year leases

Govt, banks finalise new 99-year leases

Govt, banks finalise new 99-year leases

The government is engaging local banks to ensure that the


proposed 99 year leases with new security mechanisms to be given to farmers
are bankable, it has been learnt.Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli
Ncube, confirmed the development saying the two parties were finalising the deal. Ncube said the new leases will be
rolled out next year if banks accept the new security mechanisms.


“(In) 2023, the government will finalise and roll out a 99-year lease which is bankable in order to
enable farmers to secure funding from financial institutions. This also provides them with security
as they carry out their agriculture activities. This is expected to boost confidence and increase growth in
the agriculture sector,” Ncube said. The government has been pushing for the 99-year lease since 2004.
However, banks rejected them as collateral saying they were not bankable.


Recently, the Minister of Lands,
Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and
Rural Development Anxious
Masuka told Business Times that the
government has made submissions
on the bankability of the 99-year
lease and an announcement would
be made soon.
The lands ministry wants to
transform the 21 000 A2 farmers
to become perennially successful
businesspeople by 2025 and aims to
transform the 360 000 A1 farmers to
become formal and viable small-tomedium enterprises by 2025.
Masuka said production return
forms that are submitted by February
15 of each year will work as a leeway
of getting 99 year leases.
“Both A1 and A2 farmers are
now required to submit annual
production and productivity returns.
For A2 farmers, these returns form
the basis for assessment for eligibility
for a 99-year lease.
“Now farmers need not apply for
such leases. Farmers also need not
pay for applications for such leases.
This is now an automatic process,
which should motivate farmers to
produce more,” Masuka said.
A2 farmers now receive permits
and not offer letters and these have
securitised features.
The Bankers Association of
Zimbabwe CEO, Fanwell Mutogo
told this publication that banks and
the authorities are working around
the clock to finalise the 99-year
bankability issue.
“We are finalising our submissions
to the government so that we reach
a conclusion on the 99- year leases
issue. We will give more information
soon,” Mutogo said.
Section 72 of the Constitution
vests all agricultural land in the State
and the bank would be powerless to
sell the land in the event of a default.
Resettled farmers have struggled
to access financing from banks who
continue to shun 99-year leases
as not bankable, thereby affecting
production on the farms.
According to lands ministry
officials, the finance ministry,
lands ministry and the Bankers’
Association of Zimbabwe are on
the brink of a landmark decision of
making the leases bankable.
Banks are believed to be only
offering loans that do not exceed the
forced sale value of assets listed as
collateral.
This strategy protects both the
borrowers and the banks

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