The Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) has loaned out $3,6 million to women around the country for various income generating projects, chief among them caster been production, an official has said.
Speaking to wives of traditional leaders at an interface organised by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa Saturday in Masvingo, Barbra Muyengwa, ZWMB head of marketing and public relations, said the money benefitted 7 500 women who were given varying amounts of the loans depending with their projects.
“We have given money to 7 500 women so far and the total amount we have loaned out is $3, 6 million. It is a record number considering we opened in June last year. The very same month we opened, a total of 45 000 people opened bank accounts with our institution,” she said.
She urged women to venture into caster been production where she said they would support the cultivation of the crop on one hectare plots to different teams of women as it had a ready market and easy to grow.
“Caster beans can be grown anywhere in the country except in Nyanga where the temperatures are low. S o this is a low hanging fruit which can give you not less than $1000 per hectare and not more than $3000 per hectare. So women would venture into this business. We will provide you with seed and fertilisers,” she said.
Muyengwa said their interest was reasonably low-at 4 percent-as compared to the maximum 10 percent gazetted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
In a speech read on her behalf by Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Mnangagwa-who was in absentia-said women should be masters of their destiny and should also venture into income generating projects and compliment their husbands.