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Stanbic Bank has opened three additional remote branches in Harare and Karoi as it plays a pivotal role in giving tobacco stakeholders real time value and banking solutions during the ongoing selling season which opened mid last month.


The three additional branches bring to 15 the total number of facilities the leading financial services institution has set up over the last three years as it seeks to offer banking convenience to farmers.


The Standard Bank Group subsidiary plays a significant role in the tobacco sector in Zimbabwe, by providing crucial financial services and support to various stakeholders involved in the production, processing, and marketing of tobacco.


Stanbic Head of Personal and Private Banking, Nelson Muhau said the institution is committed to delivering value to tobacco farmers, transporters, and value chain players in alignment with its vision of delivering exceptional client experiences and superior value.


Muhau said the setting up of three more implants was one such way of living up to that commitment as it brings banking facilities closer to the regions of production.


“By actively engaging with value chain players and offering tailored financial products and services to the farmers in Zimbabwe, Stanbic Bank is playing a vital role in supporting the growth and sustainability of the agricultural sector and improving the livelihoods of farmers,” said Muhau.


He advised that by actively engaging the customers and understanding their unique challenges through multiple touch points, the bank is playing a key role in the development of the country. Overall, customer service plays a vital role in fostering client relationships, ensuring satisfaction, building trust, and ultimately contributing to the success and growth of the bank.


Stanbic Bank’s Head of Agriculture Tawanda Maposah noted that the bank’s investment in the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe is unparalleled with the institution availing USD535m to tobacco merchants and primary producers linked to the major tobacco merchants and their value chains. There are over 105 000 tobacco farmers growing tobacco while more than 95% of production is done through contract farming.


“We understand the importance of agriculture to the country’s economy, and we are committed to supporting the sector in every sustainable way possible. Our crop financing and payment solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of farmers, and we have a team of experts who understand the sector and can provide tailored financial advice to our clients,” said Maposah.


Stanbic Bank is cognisant of the environment and encourages merchants through various interactions to adopt sustainable agricultural practices to ensure environmental preservation.


Zimbabwe is Africa’s largest tobacco producer. The annual tobacco-selling season opened mid-March amid concerns by farmers of a sharp decline in harvest and quality induced by the drought and other weather elements such as El Nino.


Last year farmers produced 296 million kilograms and production is estimated to fall to around 235 million kilograms.

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