Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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$400m needed for 2014-15 farming season

$400m needed for 2014-15 farming season

THE country requires $400 million for the 2014-15 agricultural season, but funding remains a major challenge to the sector, it has emerged.



In an interview yesterday Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CFU) director Hendrik Olivier said most small-scale farmers will not be able to plant early due to delays in the disbursements of inputs.

Olivier said some commercial farmers have already started planting maize, but others faced delays in land preparation.

“Lack of finance remains a major challenge because of security of tenure and the corporate finance is costly for the farmers,” he said.

Olivier said lack of funding makes it difficult for farmers to purchase machinery.

“Tobacco is on course as farmers use irrigation. Harvesting is expected to begin this month,” he said.

According to the latest Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) Weekly Tobacco Bulletin tobacco growers for 2015 have increased to 87 418 compared to 86 057 growers in 2013.

The report shows that communal and A1 growers increased by 3% to 40 666 growers and 11% to 32 106 growers respectively, while A2 and small-scale commercial growers decreased by 18% to 7 772 growers and 29% to 6 874 growers respectively.

Seasonal exports were down this year from January to November to $727,9 million from the sale of 126 million kilogrammes at an average price of $5,78 per kilogramme. During the period January-November 2013 where $809,9 million was earned from seasonal exports from a sale of 143 million kilogrammes at an average price of $5,64 per kg.

Olivier said the issue of cloud seeding will help the agricultural sector.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said during the 2015 National Budget presentation that government has set aside $400 000 for cloud seeding.


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