Govt must come clean on Command Agric before it’s late

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EDITOR — This is possibly the start of a new rainy season and farmers who rely on government-supported Command Agriculture are in sixes and sevens as the government is mum on the way forward.

It is important for government to tell farmers if there is going to be any assistance or we join gold panners because it’s not easy to buy the expensive inputs at a commercial level.

I know the supporting bank (name supplied) of the programme is demanding that farmers settle their debts in full with them but even those who have paid off like me have no idea of the next move as information from Agritex officers shows the bank is not yet ready for the project.

This laxity is killing farming in Zimbabwe especially programmes supported by government.

Command Agriculture support is the best way for Zimbabwe to return to being the bread basket of the region if well implemented. But there are bad decisions being taken ignoring the effects of climate change. For the past three or four years we have been receiving erratic rains, seriously diminishing our yields.

Also the way inputs were being supplied was disastrous as they came in dribs and drabs. A farmer could be given compound D end of January and seed in February, so there was no order.

Now that there is a promise of good rains, I urge the minister of Agriculture to consider a rapid response to the promised good rain season by weather experts.

Farming inputs must be availed now so we avoid a repeat of failure that was being caused by human error plus drought.

Let’s declare 2020-2021 season a restart of a successful agriculture era. Goverment must capitalise on human labour available and support every farmer so we use all the rains we will receive effectively as the following years may be another repeat of droughts.

The Agriculture ministry must  please give farmers inputs. in time to make this season different.

Rains have started but farming inputs are not accessible and I suggest you distribute them now.

— Isaac Mupinyuri.

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