The Land Bank, which is in the throes of a liquidity crisis, slashed lending by about two-thirds in the five months to the end of September, starving farmers of capital ahead of the production season for the food staple maize.

The dramatic pull-back came during the height of the coronavirus lockdown and shortly after the state-owned company, whose debt was assigned junk status by Moody’s Investors Service in January, was thrown into financial turmoil after skipping multiple interest payments that triggered a cross-default...

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