‘No ex­cuse for poor yields in 2017’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

“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

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