Source: Farming preps on course — President | The Herald November 7, 2019
Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Preparations for the 2019-2020 summer cropping season are progressing well, with banks coming on board to finance farmers, President Mnangagwa said yesterday as he urged farmers to devote 20 percent of effort to crops for export.
Opening the Economic Development and Financial indaba in Harare he noted: “Preparations for the current 2019-2020 agriculture season are underway, with financial institutions now on board to finance the sector, while the supply and distribution of inputs and land preparations are progressing very well,” he said.
“I urge all our farmers to take heed of the projected weather forecast as advised by the Meteorology Department.
“In our drive to increase exports, all farmers are urged to produce at least 20 percent of their produce for exports, and 80 percent for domestic consumption.”
The Meteorological Department has advised farmers to plant early saying normal to above-normal rains are forecast from October to December, while normal to below-normal rains were expected in the first three months of 2020.
Last week, Zimbabwe experienced some showers, with the Met Department indicating that thundershowers were expected this weekend.
Government has partnered Agribank, CBZ Bank, Women’s Bank and Stanbic to finance maize and soya bean production under Command Agriculture, in a major shift since the programme’s inception in 2016.
This year’s $2,8 billion farming kitty will be administered by banks to promote transparency and ensure compliance with normal commercial contract procedures.
Command Agriculture has been extended to the 2019-2020 summer cropping season to support “infant farmers”, following last year’s drought, which has left over two million people in need of food aid.
Over 210 000 hectares will go under maize and 30 000 hectares under soyabean in the programme.
It is expected that 300 000 households will benefit from the Presidential Input Support Scheme, with some families having already received inputs.
Yesterday’s Economic Development and Financial conference ran under the theme, “Driving towards a 2030 economy anchored on production and exports”.
Several senior Government officials including Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu and State Security Minister Owen Ncube attended the conference.
Ambassadors from Indonesia, Malaysia and Rwanda, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Henry Ruzvidzo and Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Mr Denford Mutashu participated.