Banks should support agriculture transformation

Banks that refuse to lend to the agriculture sector in an agrarian-based economy have no strategic vision and cannot see that they are missing an excellent opportunity for future revenue growth.

Editor,

Reference is made to the Editorial, “Agriculture can deliver development goals” (The New Times, February 26).

Banks that refuse to lend to the agriculture sector in an agrarian-based economy have no strategic vision and cannot see that they are missing an excellent opportunity for future revenue growth.

No country anywhere in the world has ever developed without its agriculture as the initial spur.

For China, for instance, this miraculous transformation (liberalising agriculture as the necessary first step) under Deng Hsiao-ping happened in our own life time.

We were all ring-side spectators as China used the modernisation of its agriculture in the 1980s as the first critical step in transforming itself from a subsistence peasant society to where it is today as the world’s manufacturer and largest economy, in the space of a single generation.

We need a clear blueprint to use our agriculture in a similar way, and the Government needs to give the banks both inducements and clear guidance on how they can work with our agriculture sector to motor our own transformation. But please, NO GMOs!

Mwene Kalinda

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