Source: Govt Rejects Legislators’ Call To Pay Farmers Exclusively In US Dollars
The Government has rejected calls by the opposition to pay farmers for their produce exclusively in United States dollars.Speaking during a Question and Answer session on Wednesday, Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende (CCC) asked the Government to consider paying farmers in USD to enable them to buy inputs for next season. Said Hwende:
The RTGS will not enable these farmers to buy inputs for the next cropping season.
Why is the government not considering paying them in United States dollars for all their produce just like what is being done beyond the borders?
Right now, the government is paying farmers RTGS and expects them to go to shops where prices are being inflated.
In response, Justice, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is also the leader of Government business in Parliament, said the Government will not abandon the Zimbabwe dollar. He said:
Honourable Hwende is in other words encouraging government not to pay in RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), but in US dollars. The truth is that we cannot stop paying farmers in RTGS.
We cannot, therefore, say we are no longer paying in RTGS. We cannot dump the RTGS because it has lost value and we adopt another currency.
That is not possible. We have to promote our own currency if we want to control our own economy.
We can only put measures to control and stabilise the inflation rate on the parallel market.
If you look at all the countries around the world, Zambia for example, has once done it, but eventually moved away from that decision and opted for its own currency, the Kwacha.
Last month, the Government announced that grain farmers will be paid at US$368 per metric tonne.
US$200 will be in foreign currency and the remaining US$168 in Zimbabwe dollars at the interbank rate.
When the local currency was reintroduced in June 2019, it was trading at 1:1 with the US dollar but has since fallen to $1 407 on the official auction market and more than $3 000 on the black market.