By Trevor Makonyonga
Government has aimed increasing crop production and productivity to meet and surpass the national requirements for both human consumption and industrial use.
Speaking at a post cabinet briefing Tuesday, Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said this will be achieved through the implementation of the Agriculture Recovery Plan.
“Timely provision of inputs such as fertilizers, seed, fuel and agrochemicals; consistent supply of key utilities such as power, fuel and water to farmers; Access to appropriate finance for inputs and working capital; Involving the private and financial services sectors; continuous support of the targeted farmers with irrigation and mechanisation services to improve efficiencies and climate proofing; capacitating the extension and advisory service delivery system to enhance responsiveness to farmers’ needs and strengthening Government-wide coordination, monitoring and evaluation.”
The strategy will result in more areas being put to crop production as evidenced by the proposed increase of the hectarage of maize; sorghum; pearl millet; finger millet; soya bean and tobacco.
Financing of the Summer Cropping and Livestock Programme will be through the public and private sector as well as Development Partners.
“Government will finance the Presidential Crop and Livestock Input Schemes through Treasury and provide Government default guarantee for programmes funded through Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) and Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ). The National Crop Production Plan for the 2021-2022 Season also includes proposals on Private Sector Led Programmes, categorised into Potato Value Chain Financing and Private sector Commodity Value Chain Financing or Contract Farming.”