Govt clears air on Command expenses •Only $190m, not $500m used: Made •Prof Moyo’s claims trashed

Dr Made

Dr Made

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Government used only $190 million under the Command Agriculture Programme, contrary to claims by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo that $500 million went towards the scheme. Statistics from the Office of the President and Cabinet show that from the $190 million, $30 million went to the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme. The revelation comes as Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made yesterday said the two programmes “have done well”.

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As a result, the minister said, Government had stopped placing orders for maize imports as a good harvest was on the cards. Prof Moyo has been using social media to lampoon the Command Agriculture Programme, a brainchild of President Mugabe.

The project seeks to cut on maize imports and boost food security. Prof Moyo has been using his Twitter handle @ProfJNMoyo, to attack the programme being coordinated by the Office of the President and Cabinet.

VP Mnangagwa

VP Mnangagwa

President Mugabe appointed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa chairperson of the Cabinet committee on food security and nutrition, to oversee the implementation of the scheme. In one of his tweets, Prof Moyo insinuated that part of the money used under Command Agriculture was missing.

He wrote: “Better listen to agro-economists on how $500 (million) was commandeered to plant maize on just 153,102.60ha when the $500 (million) was meant for 400 000ha!” Dr Made said the two programmes were a success.

“All combined, these programmes have done well,” he said.

1410-1-1-JONATHAN MOYO

“This season, there is food at household level, and we expect small-holder farmers to sell any surplus. As Government, already we have stopped placing new orders for maize imports. What is coming in is just maize from those contracts we had committed to.”

He said the only limiting factor to the two programmes was top dressing fertiliser but the Presidential Inputs Scheme was better with the support it got from China.

“The special maize programme (Command Agriculture) has contributed to building up the capacity of extension staff, all departments,” Dr Made said.

“I want to see more resources put towards strengthening the extension so that we improve the mobility of the staff.”

On expected yields, Dr Made said actual projections would come after the second crop and livestock assessment.

“We are now working on the second round and, it is then that we will project what is likely to come but surely, when you take the maize, sorghum, millet and finger millet, we are anticipating that maize alone which is currently standing at 1,8 million (tonnes) will be slightly above that in terms of the yield.

“When you add small yields, our projection will be at 2,5 million (tonnes). Of that figure, everything produced under special maize programme will be delivered to GMB.”

Dr Made said much caution was needed on harvesting and storage of the produce “to avoid spoiling everything at the last minute.”

Statistics availed to The Herald showed that $160 million was used to plant 166 000 hectares of maize, while $30 million went to the Presidential Input Scheme after Government had pleaded with the funders for support. About 191 000 hectares of land were tilled with 166 000 being planted.

Funders of the Command Agriculture programme poured in $190 million targeting to plant 220 00 hectares of maize.

On the $160 million used for Command Agriculture, $85 million went towards irrigated land and $75 million was used on non-irrigated land.

A source from the Office of the President and Cabinet yesterday said the expected bumper harvest would stimulate economic growth.

“Anyone talking about $500 million is a candidate for Ingutsheni,” said the source.

“We cannot continue to argue with someone possessed with opposition demons as has been alluded by others before.”

Added the source: “The reason why the programmes are a success is because last year, Government made foreign payments of more than $250 million to import about 700 000 tonnes of maize, but the only foreign payments made on Command Agriculture was the $90 million used to bring in fertilizers and chemicals.

“The rest of the money circulated locally and industry activity was boosted with companies like Seed-co selling more than 22 000 tonnes of seed maize and being paid here. Secondly, the interest rates that the Command Agriculture farmers are paying are pegged at four percent against the 22 percent offered by banks.

“Most of the farmers were reeling in debt and losing property. Expected average yields per hectare would be about $1,400 based on the support price of $390 Government has already announced. Many farmers will be able to settle their debts.”

Private grain millers also imported about 400 000 tonnes of maize from Mexico, Ukraine and Zambia to complement Government efforts in 2016.

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  • yowe

    So Moyo was right after all??? This therefore means our Government has $310million leftover. It would be nice if they would show the world how sovereign and self sufficient they are and use $100mil to fix the damage from the floods and not beg the evil West for anything. They can then immediately start disbursing funds to ensure that the winter wheat crop preparations start now… We hope that the receipients of inputs repay the loans given to them so that the Command Agriculture 190m can be advanced again this year..For the record it was Ngwena and you Made who repeatedly told the nation you had 500m, Prof did not thumb suck the figure..Chimboitai zvinhu zvakanaka for once!!! Use the balance to help flood victims, start winter crop preparations and collect the loans

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Prof still stands on his head on the issue. When the project was introduced and a budget mulled ,the actual total expenditure will be known at the end of the project. Those not involved directly can waffle foolishly ,like the uninformed Prof Moyo. He stand advised that his unwise political excitement to create political fodder for our ZANU PF opponents , will not behoove him nor give him a good image in ZANU PF government. Trying to cast doubt on good and succeeding policies is counter productive. Nehanda forbid!

      • yowe

        Who casted doubt on anything?? Through the ‘meddling’ of Moyo we as Zimbabweans now know that of the 500m that was secured only 190m was used. So there ia now no excuse for any delay in preparations of the winter crop!! There is also a surplus of funds which can be diverted to those affected by flood.Why is the government begging for money when something is there already??? The fact is because of Prof the lie that all the money was used is now exposed.You cannot refuse that Cde
        Mari iripo and since we know all that was disbursed we also want to figures of how much was repaid by cellphone farmers like you!!! I support the hardworking farmers out there who used state resources properly not the likes of you Cde who wanted to steal 390m and want the nation to ignore that bcoz of the “bumper harvest” Hahahaha YOWE

  • Tambai Mese Mujairane

    Jonathan Moyo still right, i am happy he has forced the hand of these guys to disclose to us the numbers, which still show that money was wasted/stolen,$67Million & $90Million is to be accounted for.

    One Hectare of maize is to cost not more than $800 to produce, with $650 being reasonable

    So 153, 102 Hectares should have cost us between $99,516,000 and not more than $122,481,600.

    By Minister Made’s representation, we now need between $67Million & $90Million accounted for.

    Thank you Jonono Musorodamba.

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    So who is telling the truth – Jonathan Moyo or the Government? Is Jonathan the public mole who is publishing and revealing Government failings?

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    Mungamudii? Hapana. I think he is telling the truth. He who stands on the side of truth is with God.

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    Ndiyo iri kunzi naJonso it disappeared – nemweya yetsvina

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    These kinds of programmes are a conduit for looting, nepotism and political gerrymandering. The figures always do not tally and most of the money will not be paid back. We have the Gono era debts that government had to write off from the farmers’ books and offload onto the taxpayer. We keep repeating the same things. Command economics DO NOT WORK.

  • yowe

    Avenga munhu ndiani?? Nyaya iripo is that they stated 500m was used and now they are saying only 190m was used. If you were as patriotic as you claim it should worry you why such misleading assertions were made by those running the programme. The facts of how the money was raised are nit public knowledge all we have are statements that 500m was secured and the full amount was to be used for the programme…Ipapo chete Cde ndopanenyaya and as an economist it should be really worrying to you sinve you can calculate the massive opportunity cost to the nation of their failure to utilise the full amount. We could be having more than double the harvests if they fully utilised the funds at their disposal. Pafunge ipapo wozondiudza

  • yowe

    It would be foolish and ignorant for anyone to deny that the harvest this year is the best since thw land reform started almost 2 decades ago. I thank God for the rains kwedu kuMasvingo zvinhu zvanga zvawoma.I personally hate to see this country importing agricultural crops so I am happy that this year tiri pari nani… Asi usarambe kuti they mislead us that they used 500m

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Anyway, just look at the VPs picture accompanying the report . It speaks positive volumes about Command Program and its success.Yes you may have been misled by some poor media reports but not government official reports as now given.

  • yowe

    Valid point thanks

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    What you don`t understand or agree with is NOT necessarily lies,please you wiseacre!

    • succuba

      You tell lies… are you not embarrassed about this?

  • succuba

    Tell me how “sanctions” affect Zimbabwe… please explain… i won’t hold me breath… kikikiikiki

    • rukudzo

      A lot of workers lost their jobs because the economy was not performing due to the albatross around Zimbabwe’s neck…..sanctions.

  • Freedom not just Independence

    Reminds me of a chief who handed over 15 billion dollars diamonds to the Chinese in exchange for promises of megs deals. We are all not stupid, a bumper harvest must not mean we turn a blind eye to the looting of the balance of the 500 mil. Jonso being a cabinet minister is being responsible by questioning instead of making assumptions like you doing. By the way, sanctions are due to human rights violations

  • Freedom not just Independence

    Imagine jotting down all that as the US’s legacy, it will be stupid, right?

  • Freedom not just Independence

    Caused by human rights abuses

    • rukudzo

      OK at least there is agreement that sanctions were imposed because of human rights abuses….but taking back our land can-never be human right abuse.

  • Freedom not just Independence

    For me it’s better, than to later sit and mourn like what the supreme leader did with the USD15 billions

  • rukudzo

    That one came when most factories were already on their knees

  • rukudzo

    ZB Bank unoiziva zviye? IDC unoiziva zviye?

  • rukudzo

    Is not.Yes. what about yesterday?

    • succuba

      What about yesterday?