Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau—
The recently launched Command Agriculture has been oversubscribed by both farmers and funders, with Government setting October 15 as the deadline by which farmers should have received inputs. In an interview on Wednesday after donating an assortment of groceries to the less-privileged in Kwekwe to mark his 70th birthday, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said agriculture was the country’s primary economy, hence the need to revive it.
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He said agriculture revival would impact positively on the country’s industry, which had been facing challenges. “The Command Agriculture programme has been oversubscribed and as we speak, Mashonaland East Province is leading with over 117 percent of farmers wanting to be considered under the programme.
“Midlands Province is at about 96 percent. We, however, have a province that is not doing well but I won’t mention it by name. We also have potential funders who are very much willing to provide funding. We are still weighing options to see which funders to take on board, those who are offering reasonable conditions,” said the Acting President.
He said Government was committed and determined to ensuring that Command Agriculture succeeded. The Acting President said people should not compare it with previous initiatives, which failed to yield intended goals.
“We are working flat out on this programme, more than eight hours a day and farmers are being vetted to see what each single farmer needs. “Others will need inputs only while others will need diesel for example and they will sign contracts which will tell them what they are getting and from where,” he said.
Individual farmers will require different things and once they are given, they will be strictly supervised to ensure that it is a success.” Turning to the donation, the Acting President said every Zimbabwean should always remember the needy or less-privileged people in society.
The assortment of groceries he donated included mealie-meal, cooking oil, beans and milk.