Gvt assures enough agric inputs

By TendaiMatunhu

Government has assured Zimbabweans that it will make sure all households in farming regions receive enough seed and grain this farming season to ensure food security.

Speaking to delegates at a Central Committee meeting in Harare yesterday, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Perence Shiri highlighted that government had been importing grain because of drought.

Minister Shiri went on to say that government is now working with support programmes to ensure they do away with the need to import grain citing the Presidential Input support Scheme and the Smart Agriculture formerly known as the command agriculture.

On the Presidential Input Support Scheme, Minister Shiri said distribution of inputs under the programme had already started adding that the programme is targeting to plant over two million hectares.

He also said cotton, maize and traditional grain inputs under the Presidential Input Support Scheme are being given to people for free.

On command agriculture, Minister Shiri highlighted that it is a commercial support programme focusing on growing enough grain for the economy, looking at increasing cattle and chicken production, among other animal husbandry.

The Central committee was therefore urged to take word back home, encouraging people that traditional grain is good and resilient and can do without much rain.

Minister Shiri went on to encourage fishery and wildlife farming saying as a Ministry they are now working to establish satellite and mobile banking facilities. He also said the Ministry was looking at irrigation rehabilitation since climate had changed the rainfall pattern.

Speaking at the same meeting, Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans’ affairs, Victor Matemadanda said each household should be a production centre, adding that everyone is a consumer but there are very few producers. That way he said no one will cry or blame anyone for shortages.

The new dispensation is investing in farming to ensure food security through command agriculture and the Presidential Input Support Scheme. Government’s efforts are aimed at supporting farmers to reclaim Zimbabwe’s bread basket status.