Farmers who abuse command agriculture inputs to be charged- minister


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paddy-zhanda

Beneficiaries of the government’s command agriculture scheme aimed at making Zimbabwe food sufficient will be charged if they do not deliver their maize to the Grain Marketing Board, Deputy Agriculture Minister Paddy Zhanda said.

He was responding to a question by Musikavanhu Member of Parliament Prosper Mutseyami who said some of the inputs such as diesel and fertiliser were being sold on the blackmarket at very cheap prices.

“One can get a 50kg bag of fertiliser for less than US$12 leaking from the Command agriculture…..,” Mutseyami said before he was interrupted by the Speaker.

Zhanda responded: “as to what we have done to make sure that there are no leakages, the system which is there obviously is that every member who has benefited from the programme is expected to deliver maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).  Should they not deliver maize to the GMB, obviously, criminal charges will be laid against those people who would have abused the system.”

Q &A:

 HON. MUTSEYAMI:  What systems are you putting in place to address the issue of leakages with regard to the Command agriculture?

We have seen that in areas where Command agriculture is being implemented, diesel is being sold on the black market.  Part of the seed inputs and fertiliser that are being allocated is being sold on the black market at very cheap prices.  One can get a 50kg bag of fertiliser for less than US$12 leaking from the Command agriculture…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, please address the Chair.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Sorry Hon. Speaker my Advocate – [Laughter.]- what systems are you putting in place so that you curb these challenges that we are having in this country, bearing in mind that this money is coming from quite a struggle – but we are having diesel and fertiliser being sold on the black market at cheap prices?

HON. ZHANDA: As a Ministry, we are not aware of what the Hon. Member is alleging.  We cannot be aware by just a mere allegation.  If the Hon. Member has got evidence to substantiate that, we will be more than happy to get that evidence to see who did what and make a follow up.

However, as to what we have done to make sure that there are no leakages, the system which is there obviously is that every member who has benefited from the programme is expected to deliver maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).  Should they not deliver maize to the GMB, obviously, criminal charges will be laid against those people who would have abused the system.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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