Source: Farmers selling Presidential Support Scheme inputs | The Herald December 22, 2016
Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
SOME farmers are reportedly selling seed and fertiliser availed to them under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme, it has emerged. This was revealed by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Deputy Minister Cde Davis Marapira. He said the problem was rampant across the country. Deputy Minister Marapira said the problem started in Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces.
“While all the provinces have been doing well in the distribution of farming inputs to the farmers across the country, we are saddened by the latest development where we have heard of unscrupulous people who are now reselling the farming inputs.
“It is a sad development for the country because the Government invested millions of dollars to boast the agriculture sector and some anti-development people are going against progress,” he said.
“The reselling of farming inputs started in Mashonaland East into Manicaland and has now spread across the country. “Let me warm the perpetrators that if they are caught, the full wrath of the law will descend on them.”
Cde Marapira said he believed that such malcontents were not real farmers but detractors burnt on causing mayhem and disorder. “These are the same people who then go on top of mountains saying the Government is doing nothing to address the issue of food security.
“These are the people who are anti-government, anti-production, anti-development and will be arrested if they are caught,” he said. Cde Marapira said they were still compiling data to see the tonnage of inputs that was resold.
Meanwhile, Cde Marapira said farmers should complement Government by investing in pesticides to kill, repel, or control certain forms of plant or animal life that are a threat to their crops.
He said while Government intervenes when there was a national disaster like the outbreak of armyworm, reports of an outbreak of stock borer in parts of the Midlands Province should be dealt with accordingly by the affected farmers.
“I appeal to farmers across the country to monitor their crops and act decisively every time their crops are affected instead of waiting for Government on everything,” he said. The distribution of agricultural inputs under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme is set to benefit over 600 000 households nationwide this year.
The scheme will complement the Command Agriculture programme under which Government is expected to finance 400 000 hectares of maize this season.