Govt starts distributing inputs at GMB depots

04 Oct, 2017 - 00:10 0 Views
Govt starts distributing inputs at GMB depots Cde Machaya

The Herald

Cde Machaya

Cde Machaya

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Bureau
Government has started distributing inputs under Command Agriculture and the Presidential Input Support Scheme at all Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots and sub-depots countrywide ahead of the summer cropping season which is expected to begin next week. In an interview, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Davies Marapira said the inputs included those for cotton and soya.

He said Government was targeting to have completed the distribution of inputs to both smallholder and commercial farmers before the end of this month when the planting season is expected to start. Deputy Minister Marapira advised farmers in regions three, four and five, which receive low rains, to delay planting until the beginning of December, as the country was expecting less rains than last year.

“We have distributed the inputs to GMB depots and sub-depots,” he said. “As you are aware, we are this year targeting 1,8 million people to benefit from the Presidential Input Support Scheme that would be funded to the tune of more than $153 million. For Command Agriculture, we have included soya and farmers are still registering. Those that have registered have started receiving the inputs because the season is expected to begin on 15 October. We are hoping that by this time we would have given our farmers inputs.”

Deputy Minister Marapira said the country was expecting normal and average rains this year. In Midlands, Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Jason Machaya said farmers had already started receiving inputs and there were more people willing to join Command Agriculture. Meanwhile, Zimphos chief executive, Mr Tapiwa Mashingaidze has assured the country of adequate supply of fertilizer ahead of the summer cropping season.

He said Government engaged African Export and Import Bank for a $56 million facility, which will help boost fertilizer supplies. Mr Mashingaidze said the country’s sole producer of Ammonium Nitrate, Sable Chemical Industries, was producing half of the required top dressing fertiliser and the country would only import the deficit.

“We are very happy with the Government interventions in taking back the country to its status of Southern Africa’s bread basket,” he said. We understand it has secured foreign currency for the importation of fertiliser raw materials. Initially, we wanted at least $120 million for us to be able to meet the national demand, but we are happy that Government has secured $56 million so far. Sable Chemical Industries, the country’s sole producer of AN is producing at least 10 000 tonnes a month, which is half of what we require, with the country importing the deficit.”

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