New farmers to get inputs

HARARE - The government is eager to assist resettled farmers and small-scale farmers, but the funds are yet to be mobilised, Finance Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday.

Addressing journalists at the ministry’s offices in Harare, Chinamasa said the government was reviewing how best to support farmers as the country enters the farming season.

“The matter is under discussion but we will provide support to the communal farmers, old settlement farmers, small-scale farmers formerly known as purchase area farmers and A1 farmers,” he said.

“To what extent will depend on the availability of resources.”

The minister said each farmer will get a bag of compound D fertiliser, a bag of compound A fertiliser and a 10kg maize seed bag.

He said the allocation will increase depending on how much money the government mobilises.

But the minister quickly warned that the government has not yet mobilised resources to assist the farmers.

“Where we are going to secure the resources is a matter that is still a moot point but I am certain that we will find resources,” he said.

“The people should not expect miracles overnight but the commitment is there and for me agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and it will trigger growth.”

Zanu PF ministers and Members of Parliament have previously accused former Finance minister Tendai Biti of sabotaging farmers by refusing to avail inputs.

President Robert Mugabe once branded Biti “senseless” for failing to provide money for agricultural inputs.

Chinamasa said government has left it too late to assist farmers, but vowed to come to the aid of the small scale farmers who have bone the brunt of previous droughts.

The country was hit by drought this year and United Nations estimates that 2,2 million people will need food assistance.


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