Zimbabwe's Mugabe urges banks to lower interest rates

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-26 00:26:33|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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HARARE, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday implored banks to slash lending rates to farmers to boost agriculture productivity in the country.

Zimbabwe's economy is agriculture based, with the sector contributing roughly 60 percent to the country's foreign currency earnings.

Mugabe said the high cost of money was inhibiting agriculture production in the country, hence the need for the cost of money to be lowered.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is on record imploring local banks to cut interest rates and make funding for productive sectors of the economy affordable.

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

"Financial institutions should come in to provide sufficiently the needed capital for agriculture. 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.

The president also urged input suppliers from seed, fertilizer 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 leaving South Africa last Sunday where she was embroiled in a legal dispute after allegedly assaulting a South African young woman.