Errant soyabean farmers face arrest

Elita Chikwati 

Senior Agriculture Reporter 

Farmers contracted by Government to grow soyabeans under a special import substitution programme commonly known as Command Agriculture, who do not deliver their crop to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), will be blacklisted from future funding while legal action will be taken against them.

The soyabean programme is funded by CBZ Agro-yield.

Contracted farmers are expected to deliver their produce to GMB where their loans will be paid through a stop order facility. Willing farmers will be taken on board for funding of the next cropping programme.

Yesterday, the GMB published names of more than 900 contracted farmers who have not delivered soyabeans to the GMB.  

In a statement, the GMB urged farmers not to side-market the crop as Statutory Instrument 97 was still in force.

“The Government of Zimbabwe contracted farmers to produce soyabeans under a facility financed through a financial institution. In terms of the contract, farmers were expected to pay their loans through delivering soyabeans to the GMB.

“The facility is a revolving fund meant to finance crop production in the country. Government issued Statutory Instrument 97 for Control of Sale of Soyabeans and this is still in force. 

“The listed farmers are still owing and are expected to deliver soyabeans to Grain Marketing Board. Failure to deliver may result in farmers being blacklisted from future funding as well as legal action being taken against them,” said GMB.

GMB chief executive, Mr Rockie Mutenha, said the farmers were contracted by a financial institution to grow soyabeans and deliver to the GMB. 

Zimbabwe Farmers Union director, Mr Paul Zakariya, urged farmers to pay back loans.

“Our position is that any farmer contracted to produce, must adhere to the agreed conditions of the contracts. In the same manner, all farmers funded under the CBZ Agro-Yield arrangement, should deliver their produce, be it soyabeans, maize or wheat. Doing so will strengthen financing arrangements and even attract more investment in agriculture. We are spreading this word and encouraging farmers to comply,” he said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Dr Shadreck Makombe, said the delays by farmers to deliver the crop to GMB was bad and they did not approve of that.

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