EDITORIAL COMMENT: Let’s unite for food self-sufficiency

FARMERSLIKE any other country in the world, Zimbabwe suffers the vagaries of global warming, but it is the responsibility of every Zimbabwean to ensure the country achieves sustainable food security.
Food Security and Nutrition are one of the key clusters of Zim-Asset and for the economic blueprint to yield results, all stakeholders in the agriculture sector should play ball.

Some parts of the country have already started receiving significant amounts of rain, setting the stage for yet another promising farming season.
The Meteorological Services Department has already predicted normal to above normal rains this farming season, but this will only yield results if all players plan meticulously.

The Government departments and private companies responsible for distributing some inputs to the farmers should not leave preparations for the 2014/15 farming season to chance.

The agro-inputs dealers should help our farmers by stocking the inputs in areas where they can access them closer to home, thereby reducing costs of production.

President Mugabe has been mobilising farming inputs for poor resourced and vulnerable communal and A1 farmers for years now under the Presidential Well-wishers Inputs Support Scheme.

This scheme has been assisting 1,6 million poor farmers with seed maize and fertilisers and the results have been impressive.

However, we implore all the people and businesses that pledged to support President Mugabe to play their part for the farmers to receive the inputs on time and boost productivity.

For years, farmers have been receiving some inputs late, thereby recording huge losses.

We, therefore, salute President Mugabe’s initiative because the country harvested 1,4m tonnes of maize this year.

The lucrative tobacco sector has also been very successful as the farmers sold an average 216 million kilogrammes to the floors, pocketing US$636,6 million from the proceeds of their sweat.

The highest yield by the white former farmers is 237 million kilogrammes.

We want to reiterate that the key to success and achieving good yields is to plan ahead and supply the inputs on time and with appropriate support, nothing stops our hard-working farmers from surpassing the record by white former farmers.

Knowledge is power and we urge our farmers to make use of information from Agritex and Met department to avoid losses caused by planting before the onset of the rainy seasons.

We implore the banks that pledged to support the farmers to release the money now to enable them to finance their operations.

After receiving the inputs, we encourage the farmers to play ball by using all the inputs they receive from the President and other stakeholders and desist from selling the donations.

We also want Government departments in rural areas responsible for inputs distribution to ensure that no one is sidelined and that greedy politicians who deprive poor people of inputs are exposed.

There have been some cases of people who abused their positions to grab more inputs at the expense of the poor villagers.

Already there are reports that some officials in Mashonaland West abused the inputs donated by President Mugabe and we call party officials to report the culprits to the law enforcers for justice to take its course.

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