‘No excuse for poor yields in 2017’
“Treasury has mobilised resources for the 2016/2017 agricultural season like never before and we are prepared for the season like never before,” he said.
“Over $500 million has been mobilised under the special maize programme (command agriculture). In addition, the Government has also availed $30 million under the crop input pack scheme targeting the vulnerable groups. Support for cotton farmers amounts to $40 million for procurement of inputs.”
Minister Chinamasa said in addition to the funds mobilised by the Government, local financial institutions have also mobilised $192 million in support of the 2016/17 agriculture season.
Moreover, he said, the Government was pursuing livestock support programmes that will see improved livestock production mainly Matabeleland provinces.
“The livestock programme will be supporting farmers in hay cutting to ensure food availability in dry periods. We are also working on increasing water points to reduce livestock deaths during drought and dry times.
“The programme will facilitate cross breeding through artificial insemination to improve quality of breeds especially for rural areas as well as promote development pastures through irrigation especially for A2 and commercial farmers,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said contract farming initiatives, particularly for tobacco, cotton and maize among other crops were on-going. in Midlands and
“However, we need to deal with the implementation inefficiencies driven by coordination lapses and strong accountability.
“We need to ensure that a repayment mechanism is developed to ensure sustainable funding for the other beneficiaries,” Minister Chinamasa said.
The pre-budget seminar is organised by Parliament to deliberate on and review the performance of the current national budget and determine priorities for the 2017 national budget.
Minister Chinamasa said besides investing in agriculture, there was a need to deliberate and identify sustainable ways of growing the economy through enhancing productivity that will generate revenue critical for infrastructure development.
He urged Parliamentarians to provide the necessary guidance in the formulation of the 2017 budget, which can change the lives of the people they represent.—@ pamelashumba1