GMB de­pots re­ceive farm­ing in­puts for 2016/17 sea­son

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

THE Gov­ern­ment has started dis­tribut­ing farm­ing in­puts to Grain Mar­ket­ing Board (GMB) de­pots around the coun­try ahead of the 2016-2017 farm­ing sea­son.

The Deputy Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, Mech­a­ni­sa­tion and Ir­ri­ga­tion Devel­op­ment, re­spon­si­ble for crop­ping, Davis Mara­pira, yes­ter­day said prepa­ra­tions were well on course in all parts of the coun­try.

“We’ve al­ready started mov­ing farm­ing in­puts to GMB de­pots in the coun­try and all the prepa­ra­tions are go­ing on well.

“The in­puts dis­tri­bu­tion will be done through var­i­ous schemes, in­clud­ing the Pres­i­den­tial In­puts Scheme which will also as­sist a to­tal of 600 fam­i­lies with cot­ton in­puts. Un­der the Pres­i­den­tial scheme, com­mu­nal farm­ers will get one bag of seed maize and one bag of fer­tiliser so that they have some­thing when the rainy sea­son starts,” said Deputy Min­is­ter Mara­pira.

He said those who had re­ceived farm­ing equip­ment from the Brazil­ian Food for Africa Scheme will also get in­puts from the Gov­ern­ment.

“We want to make sure that ev­ery­body is in­cor­po­rated in the in­puts scheme so that all farm­ers con­trib­ute to the coun­try’s ef­forts to achieve max­i­mum food se­cu­rity.

“Those who’ve reg­is­tered for com­mand agri­cul­ture will also re­ceive the in­puts that they re­quire for their farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Deputy Min­is­ter Mara­pira.

He added that the Dis­trict Devel­op­ment Fund (DDF) would as­sist farm­ers who do not have equip­ment in pre­par­ing their land for the farm­ing sea­son.

Deputy Min­is­ter Mara­pira ad­vised farm­ers to take ad­van­tage of the re­cent rains by pre­par­ing their land.

“Those who re­ceived rains re­cently in their ar­eas shouldn’t start plant­ing now be­cause the rainy sea­son is yet to come. They should in­stead, use the rains as a chance to pre­pare their land for the farm­ing sea­son un­less they have ir­ri­ga­tion,” he said.

The deputy min­is­ter, how­ever, ex­pressed con­cern over Zesa power cuts, say­ing they were se­ri­ously af­fect­ing wheat farm­ers.

“We’re in the process of en­gag­ing Zesa so that there’s no dis­rup­tion of farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in all prov­inces. Most of our wheat farm­ers have been se­ri­ously af­fected by the power cuts and this ob­vi­ously re­duces our yields,” said Deputy Min­is­ter Mara­pira.

Zim­babwe Com­mer­cial Farm­ers Union (ZCFU) Mata­bele­land North pro­vin­cial chair­man, Mr Win­ston Bab­bage, said they were work­ing with Agri­tex to iden­tify ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the free in­puts that will be dis­trib­uted by the Gov­ern­ment.

He, how­ever, said seed houses were yet to make avail­able some in­puts that are suit­able for the Mata­bele­land re­gion.

“Farm­ers are bush clear­ing and the prepa­ra­tions for the farm­ing sea­son are go­ing on well. We’re work­ing with Agri­tex to make sure that the free in­puts are di­rected to de­serv­ing peo­ple.

“We’re also lob­by­ing seed houses to make sure that they de­liver the in­puts that are suit­able for the re­gion on time. Farm­ers are strug­gling to find the cor­rect in­puts,” said Mr Bab­bage.

He called on the Gov­ern­ment to pro­vide fund­ing for farm­ers to sink bore­holes and set up more ir­ri­ga­tion schemes.

The Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vices Depart­ment on Mon­day said the rains that were re­cently re­ceived in some parts of the coun­try did not sig­nal the on­set of the rainy sea­son.

The depart­ment said the coun­try is ex­pected to re­ceive nor­mal to above nor­mal rains dur­ing the 2016/2017 sea­son and this is favourable for farm­ing.— @pame­lashumba1.

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