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Mugabe urges Zimbabwean banks to lower interest rates

Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, on Friday implored banks to slash their lending rates to farmers in order to boost agricultural productivity in the country.

“We pray for banks to lower their interest rates because in a sense, they are an inhibition to progress and development,” Mugabe said while opening the annual Harare Agriculture Show.

Zimbabwe’s economy is agriculture based with the sector contributing roughly 60 per cent to the country’s foreign currency earnings.

Mugabe said the development was inhibiting agriculture production in the country, hence the need for the interest rates to be lowered.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which is the Central Bank of Zimbabwe, has also implored local banks to cut interest rates and make funding for productive sectors of the economy affordable.

The RBZ in February directed all banks to slash their interest rates to 12 per cent from 15 per cent per annum with effect from April this year.

“Financial institutions should come in to provide sufficient fund needed for agriculture,” Mugabe said.

The President also urged input suppliers from seed, fertiliser and agro-chemical providers to work closely with farmers to make agriculture a success in the country.

Mugabe had earlier toured various stands at the country’s premier agricultural showcase, with his wife Grace, making her first public appearance since she left South Africa last Sunday.

The first lady was embroiled in a legal dispute after allegedly assaulting a young South African woman.

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