Presidential inputs scheme to expand scope

Source: Presidential inputs scheme to expand scope | The Herald July 22, 2017

Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Preparations for the 2017 /18 summer cropping season have started, with Government indicating the expansion of the Presidential Inputs Scheme to include pulses (cowpeas, beans, groundnuts, and roundnuts).

The scheme also caters for maize, small grains and cotton farmers. The Presidential Inputs Scheme is meant to ensure household food security.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said crops such as sugarbeans, cowpeas, groundnuts, roundnuts and other related pulses will be included under the scheme.

“Command Agriculture programme, which catered for maize and wheat, will from next season also include soyabean production,” he said.

Dr Made said he was happy with the land preparations for the next season.

The Presidential Inputs Scheme will cater for one million households, an increase from the 800 000 families that benefited from the programme last year.

Presenting the 2016 annual budget review and outlook for 2017 on Thursday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said mobilisation of financial resources, procurement of seeds, fertilisers and chemicals was underway.

Command Agriculture will include wheat, livestock, fisheries and wildlife, with $334 million that will be unveiled for the programmes. “This will be complemented by the Presidential Input Scheme valued at $153,1 million to cater for about 1,8 million rural households. Under the Presidential Input Scheme, cotton will be supported to the tune of $60 million, catering for 400 000 households, with grain production taking up $52,9 million and the balance supporting oilseed crops such as soyabeans,” he said.

Last season, the private sector supported agriculture to the tune of $264 million.

The private sector participation included support from Sakunda Holdings on the 2016/ 17 season Command Agriculture and for the 2017 winter wheat programme.

Minister Chinamasa recently pledged support to companies investing in research and development.