COMMAND Agriculture might be affected by inadequate and late disbursements of inputs to farmers, Agriculture minister Joseph Made has said.
Source: Inputs debacle impacts on command agric – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 28, 2016
by VENERANDA LANGA
Made was responding to Norton MP Temba Mliswa, in the National Assembly recently who wanted to know what government was doing in the face of a serious shortage of inputs that has seen farmers planting late.
“The MP is very correct that the target is based on adequate inputs and planting on time. However, I do not agree with the position that command agriculture will be a total failure,” Made said.
“We will examine each case as it relates to the various inputs that arrived late namely herbicides, top dressing fertiliser and compound D which certainly have got an impact on farming.”
The minister said he will examine each contract and each field circumstance on a farmer-to-farmer basis to see the impact and address the shortages.
But, Mliswa said government increased the number of farmers to benefit from command agriculture from 100 per province without increasing inputs.
“We must be clear so that government is well aware of the fact that we will not meet the target because the yields have gone unless the minister of Water and Climate is able to tell us that the weather conditions have changed. We must have a clear position in terms of the preparedness of the season,” he said.
The Norton MP said he was one of the legislators farming under command agriculture but did not get adequate herbicides.
“Command Agriculture did not specify that there will be 100 farmers per province, which is not correct. The position that Mliswa is referring to in terms of the yields as per the given planting time can only relate to the irrigated crop otherwise the dry land crop — even the irrigated crop — as we are talking, is still within the context of achieving the minimum tonnage per hectare,” Made said.