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Rural Finance, Innovative Finance, Cattle Banking, Zimbabwe
This study breaks new ground by looking at an innovative financial approach of livestock banking vis-vis rural finance. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the validity and feasibility of cattle banking as an alternative innovative financing strategy in Africa with specific reference to Zimbabwe. Cattle banking has entered the debate on innovative financing for rural areas. In Zimbabwe, TN Bank (now Steward Bank) has taken the bull by the horns through introducing the new strategy to farmers who are mostly rural. Cattle are very important assets in the rural areas despite the challenge of climate change and global warming that have direct negative effects on pastures.
This is an exploratory paper that relies on extensive literature relating to cattle banking. The authors find that cattle banking has the potential to assist farmers to open bank accounts using cattle, thus encouraging them to save their assets. Moreover cattle banking promotes asset-building among farmers. Many farmers in the rural areas of Zimbabwe do not have bank accounts because of what they experienced during Zimbabwes lost decade (2000-2010) when bankers lost millions of dollars to the hyperinflation. This paper recommends that cattle banking should be developed as it has the potential to uplift the livelihoods of rural farmers. It is also seen as an innovative strategy to overcome rural finance challenges.