Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Govt to mobilise $250m for farmers

Govt to mobilise $250m for farmers

September 15, 2014 Wenceslaus MurapeBusiness

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa addresses participants at a Herald Business-organised breakfast meeting in Harare yesterday

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa

Government is planning to mobilise over $250 million to support farmers in the upcoming 2014 /15 agricultural season under the Presidential Input Scheme, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the National Assembly last week.Agriculture has been identified as one of the sectors which can anchor economic recovery and growth under the five year economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

Presenting the Mid-year Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Minister Chinamasa said it was crucial for government to avail timely support to farmers to ensure a successful agricultural season.

He said last year’s farming season had been a success due to timely financial interventions.

“Mr Speaker Sir, let me again reiterate the importance of timely preparations for the success of the forthcoming 2014 /15 agricultural season,” he said.

“On its part, Mr Speaker Sir, government is mobilising about $252,3 million in support of agriculture under the Presidential Input scheme.”

Minister Chinamasa said about 1,6 million communal, old resettlement and A1 farmers would benefit under the programme.

He said government support would be mainly targeted at maize and small grain farmers while other crops including soya beans and cotton would also be supported.

The inputs package for maize and small grain farmers would be valued at $115 per household and would comprise 10kg of seed, 50kg of compound D and 50kg of Ammonium Nitrate.

Minister Chinamasa said government had also engaged the banking sector to increase its lending to farmers.

“Government acknowledges the role of the banking sector in supporting A2 and other farmers in view of its limited financing capacity. In this regard, the Reserve Bank has engaged the financial services sector in establishing credit facilities under direct bank credit extension to the farmer.

“Furthermore, contract farming arrangements will also be available to finance crops such as tobacco, cotton, soya beans, barley among others,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa said realising the importance of input suppliers in the agricultural chain, government had made efforts to capacitate suppliers ahead of the forthcoming farming season.

“Already obligations related to outstanding debts to input suppliers have been extinguished through a combination of both cash payments and Treasury Bill issuance to the tune of $27,4 million, with a further $30 million in TB’s being issued in consultation with CBZ,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, which had declined over the past decade mainly due to limited funding and poor rainfall patterns, is on the recovery path with output of crops such as maize and tobacco exceeding targets.

Maize output last year reached 1,46 million tonnes from the original target of 1,3 million tonnes while tobacco output surpassed the initial target of 171 million kilogrammes to reach 215,2 million kilogrammes. – New Ziana.



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