No maize imports- we have to support local farmers first


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Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says the government is not going to allow the importation of maize willy-nilly because its policy is to support local farmers to produce agricultural commodities the country needs first.

“We are in the business of supporting the local farmers first and foremost, particularly this season where we have a very fair harvest. We have to manage things in such a way that at least we are able to support our farmers, whom I think have done very well.

“We will not allow imports willy-nilly. In actual fact, our focus now should be to support the farmers so that they produce the agriculture commodities that we need,” he said. “We would like to see, first and foremost, our farmers producing enough for ourselves and the surplus for exportation.”

Made was responding to Nyanga North legislator Hubert Nyanhongo who had asked why the ministry was not issuing licences to people that wanted to import maize from Mozambique since the country did not have enough maize.

Made said the country had enough maize. He also said that the country would not support the importation of any product that is a genetically modified organism.

 

Q & A:

 

MR. NYANHONGO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. I would like to ask why the Ministry or the departments under that Ministry are not issuing import licences for the importation of maize coming from Mozambique, our neighbor, to individuals? I would like to know why they are not allowing individuals to bring maize, considering that we do not have enough maize in the country and we are not being allowed to bring in that maize for the people. I would also want to know from the Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, the hon. member may only ask one question.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I would like to thank the hon. member. First of all, I would like to make some corrections. When the hon. member asserts that we do not have enough maize, I have to correct that notion – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members, may you please give the Minister time to respond. You ask questions and Zimbabweans are watching, may you please give the Minister time to respond. Hon. Minister, you may continue.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I wanted to correct that first part. It is not correct that we do not have enough maize in the country. The hon. member needs to be very specific on who has been denied an import permit, but I would like to give caution on that issue. We are in the business of supporting the local farmers first and foremost, particularly this season where we have a very fair harvest. We have to manage things in such a way that at least we are able to support our farmers, whom I think have done very well. Unless the hon. member has a specific case and reason where he thinks he wish to support the importation of maize, for now it is quite correct that we are very stringent on maize imports.

May I also take this opportunity to say that we are examining many commodities that we produce. We will not allow imports willy-nilly. In actual fact, our focus now should be to support the farmers so that they produce the agriculture commodities that we need. This is why I am saying that I am thanking the hon. member for raising that question. It gives me the opportunity to say that we are going to support the farmers; we would like to see, first and foremost, our farmers producing enough for ourselves and the surplus for exportation.

I would also want to caution and indicate that we will not be supporting any product that is Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) to be imported into the country. I take advantage to include that. Thank you very much.

(33 VIEWS)

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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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