Zimbabwe: $4bn Earmarked for Grain Under Presidential Inputs Scheme

Senior Reporter

Government has earmarked $4 billion under Presidential Inputs Scheme for grain production while it will pay directly, outstanding cotton proceeds delivered by farmers to Cottco among a cocktail of measures being taken to enhance performance of the agriculture sector.

Equity by Government in Cottco and Silo Foods Industry will also be raised to 51 and 74 percent respectively as the country moves towards attaining an upper middle class economy by 2030 through implementation the economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa last night during a post-Cabinet briefing.

"Currently, Government is financing several programmes in the agriculture sector including farm mechanisation, inputs and selling price support.

"Crops under such support include maize, soya beans, cotton and wheat. Government targets to provide input support for the vulnerable households to the tune of $4 billion for grain production under the Presidential Inputs Scheme, while banks provided funding for the Command Agriculture programme for the 2020/2021 farming season," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said Cabinet noted with concern, failure to pay farmers for cotton delivered to Cottco last season as a new marketing season commenced last week.

"Cabinet noted with concern the continued failure to pay farmers for cotton delivered to Cottco and has decided to institute measures to increase its shareholding in Cottco to at least 51 percent in tandem with its contribution in the company and apparent support to farmers and the need to spur rural industrialisation. To this effect, Government will be paying farmers directly," she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said cabinet had been briefed by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka regarding the winter wheat and barley, preparation.

"Cabinet wishes to report that three facilities are in place targeting 92 000 hectares distributed as follows: the Presidential Wheat Scheme targeting 10 000 hectares; the Command/CBZ Agro-yield Scheme targeting 60 000 hectares and the Private Sector Support targeting 15 000 hectares for wheat and 7 000 hectares for barley.

"A Statutory Instrument to restrict marketing of wheat and barley crops to contractors and GMB only is being drafted," she said.

Cabinet was briefed on the improvement of tobacco growers registered for the current season compared to the last season coupled with the fact that sales had been generally been firming.

"Total tobacco export shipments for 2021 have reached 57,4 million kg as at 19 May 2021 compared to 67 million kg shipped during the same period last year."

Cabinet was also briefed on water and sanitation with Chivhu and Gwayi Shangani being one of major dams set for commissioning.

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