GOVERNMENT and stakeholders in the cotton industry should address the issue of prices this year to prevent disturbances that rocked the marketing season last year, Gokwe North Senator Tariro Mtingwende said yesterday. Sen Mtingwende said this while debating President Mugabe's speech during the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Seventh Parliament last year.
"Government and contractors should ensure that cotton prices are addressed so that we prevent disturbances that we had last year," she said.
"If the problem persists this year, some farmers will fail to plant anything next season. Farmers suffered a lot last season and some of them are even failing to pay off the debts they incurred."
Sen Mtingwende said the floods that affected most parts of Zimbabwe had left many people in rural areas homeless.
She called on Government to expedite distribution of relief aid to prevent starvation.
"Many families are already going for days without food and the problem is likely to persist until next year because most of the crops were washed away," said Sen Mtingwende.
"Government should ensure the food aid reaches the needy to prevent starvation."
Chitungwiza Senator James Makore (MDC-T) called for adequate funding to agriculture to increase productivity.
"Agriculture should be funded adequately to increase our yields and restore the country's bread basket status," he said. "We should invest into irrigation systems to address the problems that have been caused by the changes in climate."
Sen Makore urged Government to root out corruption in the distribution of food aid under the grain loan scheme. The Senate adjourned yesterday to next Tuesday.