Cash Payment Ban To Be Extended To Maize, Cotton – Chinamasa

Zimbabwe is to extend a ban on cash payments for maize and cotton in order to ease cash shortages besieging several banks.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says new measures will be introduced to ensure that the ban imposed on tobacco farmers is also applied to other agricultural sectors.

Some Zimbabwe banks have failed to meet the demand for cash this year- shortages that government blames on the cash economy.

Since government adopted the US dollar as the main currency in 2009, banks have had to import all the notes the country needs. However, more and more, they cannot keep up with the demand.

For the first time this year, the central bank banned cash payouts to tobacco farmers.

Following years of arbitrary raids on foreign currency accounts prior to 2009, as well as spectacular bank collapses, the Reserve Bank is struggling to convince Zimbabweans that their savings are safe in banks.

The central bank estimates that 70% of Zimbabwean adults do not have bank accounts.

By forcing farmers to open bank accounts, authorities are hoping to change that culture.