Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter
Preparations for the summer cropping season are now at an advanced stage with all inputs including seed and fertiliser available, while Government continues to provide money to pay farmers for crops delivered to GMB and Cottco.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this yesterday while addressing the 37th post-Cabinet briefing.
She said Cabinet received an update on the wheat marketing and summer crops production season presented by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka.
“On CBZ Agro-Yield/Command Agriculture Programme, preparations for the summer cropping season, the nation is advised that currently CBZ Agro-Yield has 18 000 metric tonnes and 15 000 metric tonnes of basal and top dressing fertilisers, respectively,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“Seed is adequately available. Farmers can promptly collect seed from Seed Co and K2. CBZ is in the process of finalising inputs supply agreements with ARDA Seeds, Syngenta and Torcek.”
On grain delivery, Minister Mutsvangwa said as at October 24, grain intake stood at 1 164 274 tonnes, comprising 83 684 tonnes of wheat and 1 080 590 tonnes of maize, soyabeans and traditional grains.
“Regarding farmer payments, a total of $1 billion was received from Treasury last week and cumulative receipts now amount to $36,059 billion,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“Grain delivered to date is valued at $40,574 billion, giving an outstanding balance of $4,51 billion.”
Regarding the planting of tobacco, Minister Mutsvangwa said at least 105 528 farmers had registered for the 2021/22 tobacco season compared to 102 098 farmers that had registered at the same time last year, representing a three percent increase.
She said the area planted stood at 28 percent above that planted last year because of an enlarged irrigated crop.
Meanwhile, seed cotton marketing has tailed-off with a few common buying points still to conclude transactions. Minister Mutsvangwa said seed cotton deliveries to the six contractors have reached 132 132 384kg compared to 83 059 898kg last year, representing a 59,1 percent increase.
“The value of the seed cotton delivered to date is $6,384 billion,” she said.
“Cottco has paid a total of $2,9 billion to farmers, including US$3 912 500.
“Payments to date are 39 percent of total requirement. Farmers are yet to be paid a total of $3,466 billion for seed cotton delivered to Cottco during the 2020/2021 season.
“As at 25 October 2021, Treasury had availed $500 million towards payment of cotton farmers. The payment process has been set in motion.”
Regarding the Presidential Climate-Proofed Cotton Pfumvudza/Intwasa Scheme for the 2021/2022 season, trained farmers are 36 percent of the targeted 520 000 growers.