Inputs for 2021/22 summer season adequately available-Gvt

Staff Reporter

Government has revealed that agricultural inputs under the CBZ-Yield/Command Agriculture are adequately available and ready for collection at SeedCo and K2 seed companies.

Speaking during the Post Cabinet media briefing in Harare yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said CBZ is also in the process of finalizing inputs supply agreements with ARDA Seeds, Syngenta and Torcek.

“On CBZ Agro-Yield/Command Agriculture Programme preparations for the summer cropping season, the nation is advised that currently CBZ Agro-Yield has 18 000 metric tonnes and 15 000 metric tonnes of basal and top dressing fertilizers respectively. Seed is adequately available. Farmers can promptly collect seed from SeedCo and K2. CBZ is in the process of finalizing inputs supply agreements with ARDA Seeds, Syngenta and Torcek,” she said.

Regarding the Presidential Climate-Proofed Cotton Pfumvudza/Intwasa Scheme for the 2021/2022 season, Minister Mutsvangwa revealed that measures are being put in place to expedite inputs deliveries, in particular the first tranche comprising seed, basal fertilizer and chemicals. She however noted that outstanding payments are slowing uptake of cotton production.

Cotton farmers are yet to be paid a total of ZW$3.466 billion for seed cotton delivered to COTTCO during the 2020/2021 season. As at 25 October 2021, Treasury had availed ZW$500 million towards payment of cotton farmers. “The payment process has been set in motion,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Seed cotton marketing has tailed-off with very few common buying points still to conclude transactions. Seed cotton deliveries to the six contractors have reached 132 132 384 kg compared to 83 059 898 kg last year, representing a 59.1% increase. The value of the seed cotton delivered to date is ZW$6.384 billion. COTTCO has paid a total of ZW$2.9 billion to farmers, including US$ 3 912 500.00. Payments to date are 39% of total requirement,” she added.

The Minister noted that tobacco planting for this summer cropping season has slightly increased compared to the 2020/2021 agricultural season, due to an increase in irrigated crop.

“Regarding the planting of tobacco, some 105 528 farmers have registered for the 2021/22 tobacco season compared to 102 098 farmers that had registered at the same time last year, representing a 3% increase. The area planted is 28% more than last year’s, because of an enlarged irrigated crop,” she said.

The Minister advised the nation that as at the 24th of October 2021, Grain intake stood at 1 164 274 metric tones, comprising 83 684 metric tonnes of wheat and 1 080 590 metric tonnes of maize, soya beans and traditional grains.

Regarding farmer payments, a total of ZW$ 1 billion was received from Treasury last week and cumulative receipts now amount to ZW$36.059 billion. Grain delivered to date is valued at ZWL$ 40.574 billion, giving an outstanding balance of ZW$4.51 billion.