He told Parliament that the elderly and disabled were entitled to inputs and if councillors or government officials charged them for inputs or for transport of those inputs, they must report these people to him.
He gave his number as 0772 169957. “Please do not call, just send an SMS,” the minister said.
Below is the full Q&A:
HON. E. MASUKU: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. What is the Government’s policy on the elderly accessing seed for Pfumvudza/Intwasa, because they cannot go for collection themselves?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Government policy is that the elderly, the vulnerable and child-headed families should be prioritised. In fact, they are the ones who should first receive the Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs.
There is a way of distributing these inputs to the vulnerable groups. The first thing is that in every community, the village head is responsible for training farmers and community members on Pfumvudza/Intwasa using his field. Secondly, he identifies the elderly and the vulnerable as well as child-headed families, which is why village heads sit in the committees which distribute these inputs.
So, if you have information regarding those who have not benefited from Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme, my mobile number is 0772 169957. As Hon. Members of Parliament, you are free to contact me whilst on the ground and I will certainly assist you. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Masuku, have you understood the Minister’s response?
HON. E. MASUKU: Yes. However, on the same note, when these Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs are distributed, we need assistance in transporting the inputs. So, does the community pay for transportation or Government would have paid?
HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question regarding the distribution of Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs.
Right now, we are busy preparing for the distribution of fertilizers and other inputs for this year. We are going to distribute herbicides to every household, which will be used when our crops begin to grow instead of the traditional way of cultivating. The rest of the inputs and the money for transportation are already catered for, we have engaged transport operators who are going to be transporting our inputs from the factories to the GMB depots. We also have money for transporting from the GMB depot to every other depot, so every farmer collects their inputs from their ward. No farmer should pay for transportation at ward level. The Councillor is the Chairperson who is responsible for distribution, and the local traditional leader will deploy someone who will assist the councillor. If there are a number of households in that community, then the village head knows everyone in their community and they are going to be involved in the distribution. The Secretary of the Committee is an Agritex Extension Officer and the headmaster of the nearest local school will consolidate the database of the ward. This is the list which will be submitted to GMB clarifying all the needs of the community, whether it is herbicides or any other input. The inputs will be distributed accordingly.
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