Agric Ministry bids for  $55 trillion in 2024 budget Professor Obert Jiri

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development on Tuesday said it required at least $55 trillion from the 2024 budget to enable it to fully deliver on its  mandate and programmes next year.

In the 2023 budget, the Ministry was allocated $362 billion, which was later revised to $1.6trillion.

Presenting the Ministry’s expectations from the 2024 budget before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Lands and Agriculture, chief finance officer, Peter Mudzamiri said the Ministry was big, and had several programmes under implementation, hence the need for a commensurate budget.

“The expenditure to date only reflects what has been paid, at present the government is on cash accounting; some might have been consumed but not yet paid. $1,6 trillion has been paid. Our projection is as of the end of this year we could spend $2,1 trillion cumulative from January to December,” he said.

“We invited the parastatals to prepare the ideal budget which they think will effectively help them to deliver their mandate. Each parastatal submitted a bid figure, the total bid from the Ministry comes to $55 trillion, obviously it is segregated into various programmes and sub programmes,” he said.

He, however, said the Ministry had been given a ceiling of $2.9 trillion for the 2024 budget by Treasury.

“The 2024 expenditure target, as you know Treasury has adopted a system of giving actual amounts, they give you a figure that you have to work around with, so what we got from Treasury is $2,9 trillion and we distributed it  among the nine programmes,” Mudzamiri said.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, Professor Obert Jiri pleaded with the committee to push for the allocation of more funds from the national budget.

“Our budget is never enough and our programmes are too many. Most of the people think we can be treated like any other ministry, but we are five ministries in one. Our resources are never enough. We got a resource envelope of $2.8 trillion which is not adequate. We require your support so that the envelope is increased,” he said. — New Ziana

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