Steward Bank’s AgroFuture package set to change Zim’s agricultural landscape

ZIMBABWE’s agriculture sector – which for many years has struggled to achieve its full potential due to a number of challenges, including lack of financing, research, training and suitable markets – is set for a boost following the launch of AgroFuture, an agribusiness package offered by Steward Bank in partnership with Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe’s business units.

Through AgroFuture, the bank is offering financing to farmers for various tailor-made solutions and services which will be accessed through Cassava Smartech entities.

Steward bank, Zimbabwe’s largest bank by depositors, will leverage on internal partnerships with entities such as Ecofarmer, Vaya, EcoSure and Moovah to provide unique solutions that embody the term ‘smart farming’.

The digitised solutions that the bank’s clients can look forward to include a trading platform for farmers, linking them with aggregators to bring together small-scale farmers and buyers to provide better value, increase profitability and foster inclusion.

The country has been mulling introducing a commodities exchange to ensure that farmers get real value for their products, but the idea has up to now not come to fruition. This has resulted in the majority of small-scale farmers giving away their produce for a song to middlemen who have access to markets.

But now, with AgroFuture, farmers will be guaranteed markets for their crops, ensuing better margins for farmers and increased productivity.

Similarly, to ensure farmers have access to affordable agricultural implements, Vaya tillage services will cater for farmers seeking working capital for land preparation by contracting them through Vaya tractor, while In-App financial literacy tools will assist farmers with budgeting and planning for inputs and services.

Some of the additional and exciting solutions under AgroFuture include crop, livestock and equipment insurance, financing towards sustainable energy solutions and bespoke financing solutions, including Collateral Management Agreements (CMA), Warehouse Financing and Stock Monitoring Arrangements (SMA).

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