THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order, Hon. Chinotimba, I know you are a farmer but Hon. Nyabani is the last one to ask a supplementary question. We have to go by our Standing Orders please. Thank you.
HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is on late payment of cotton farmers. Currently, the payment being given to people for maize has been inflated and cannot buy anything. What plans do you have in place to incentivise people to continue farming because it looks like people are just farming and giving the crops freely to GMB? The farmer is not benefitting anything from what he is farming and farming as a business is currently not sustaining the farmer.
HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Hon. Nyabani for your important question. He spoke about cotton and maize. So let me start with cotton. Starting this year, we look forward to seeing cotton companies paying for cotton in the same manner that tobacco is being paid for because cotton is also sold outside the country. So it is also an export crop and 75% of the amount will be paid in US dollars and the other 25% will be paid in RTGs. We are working so that this starts next Monday when selling of cotton starts so that the farmers can benefit from their crop. It is Government policy that every farmer benefits from farming because it affects most people in the rural areas.
Going on to the maize crop, Government policy is to ensure that farmers view farming as a lucrative business. We always say people should not look too far for jobs because jobs are just under their feet, but in soil where they can do agriculture. So when we are putting laws in place, the intention is to ensure farmers are given adequate payments for their crops. Yesterday we sat in Cabinet and the resolutions we came up with, we believe, will make farmers feel incentivised to want to take their grain to the GMB. In April this year, Government already planned for the next planting season. All the other years we were planning in August but this year we did that much earlier because of what is happening in the world, which will result in us not getting adequate inputs. So we look forward to assisting our farmers starting with productive social investment also called the Presidential Input Scheme. We look forward to assisting about three million households with those inputs. We also look forward to CBZ and AFC assisting with the national enhanced agricultural productivity scheme (command agriculture). Government will assist with Government guarantee to ensure farmers continue farming. Then we have other companies such as millers and stock feeders who can source their own funds from banks. I assure all of them that Government is doing its best to ensure that all payments for all farming produce are paid for timeously. We continue to ensure that farmers are assisted to go back and do their farming. I thank you.