ZANACO launches "loan-a-cow" product
Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) launched the “loan-a-cow” scheme – the first of its kind in Zambia. Through the scheme, smallholder farmers will be able to acquire cow-loans at an interest rate of 16 percent from ZANACO through their respective cooperatives. The farmer then services the loan through revenues from milk produced from his/her cow which is purchased by milk processors Parmalat/Zam Milk. The processor pays a percentage of the full amount they are supposed to pay the farmer to ZANACO i.e. interest payment. If a farmer can consistently produce 30 litres of milk per day, the loan can be repaid in 3 years.
Over 253 pregnant cows have been imported from South Africa as part of the scheme. 318 farmers from 7 cooperatives have already been given this type of loan. This is probably one of the more innovative financial products to be launched this year and could go a long way to enhancing the wealth of smallholder farmers. Smallholder farmers are among the groups in society who have a difficult time accessing finance because of information asymmetries or they are unable to put up adequate collateral. The scheme will push farmers to increase their productivity while providing them a channel to procure more cows. The average cost of a cow is about K12,000.
Government reverses hunting ban for 19 blocks
The Minister of Tourism and Arts announced that the 2013 hunting ban was revoked for 19 blocks with immediate effect. However, the reversal did not apply to big cats (lions, leopards etc) as their numbers had reduced to record low levels. Hunting would only be carried out under strict supervision by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).
-LME 3-month copper closed at $7,077 per MT
Trying to decipher this puzzle that is Zambia by using a variety of publicly available data (structured and unstructured) in conjunction with my own skill/experience. * * *