Metropolitan Bank, which has been a strong advocate for land reform, says thousands of previously disadvantaged Zimbabweans who have been empowered by the land reform programme have the capacity to utilise the land productively and contribute to the government’s efforts to improve national economic performance.
In its report for the year ending December, the bank says, however, it is vital that both the private sector and the government join hands to ensure that the new farmers are adequately financed and equipped to enable them to make the best use of the land.
Bank chairman, Enock Kamushinda says, “I firmly believe that the new farmers under the A1 and A2 schemes can play a major role in overcoming the country’s economic challenges…. There is great demand for our products in the Far East and the opportunities are boundless if we are able as a nation to efficiently channel our resources in the agricultural sector”.
He says the private sector needs to be more positive towards the challenges facing the country and welcomes the current tripartite talks between the government, labour and business.
According to its results, net interest income more than doubled from $549.4 million to $1.2 billion while other income shot up from $835.6 million to 2 billion with operating income increasing from $1.4 billion to $3.2 billion.
Net profit increased from $703.8 million to $1.6 billion. The bank’s balance sheet increased more than five-fold from $2.9 billion to $17.7 billion.