Source: Prof Moyo statement on Command Agriculture | The Herald March 27, 2017
This statement is pursuant to the lead story in today’s Sunday Mail headlined, “Prof Moyo benefited from Command Agric.” In the afternoon of Friday 24 March 2017, I had a chance encounter at State House with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who had just returned from a Command Agriculture field day in Mt Darwin.
As I greeted him, VP Mnangagwa immediately said he “did not know that I had one of the best maize crops at my farm in Mashonaland Central after receiving support from Command Agriculture” and that he “had flown over the farm by helicopter and seen the excellent crop yet I was attacking the programme”.
I advised the Honourable Vice President that I had not attacked Command Agriculture anywhere, but that based on my first-hand knowledge in light of my family’s farming experience in Mazowe and the harsh experience of the other farmers, I had questioned the shockingly politicised and personalised misrepresentation and exaggeration of Command Agriculture by The Herald, Chronicle, The Sunday Mail and Sunday News.
I gave Vice President Mnangagwa examples of many and very recent instances in which The Herald, Chronicle, The Sunday Mail and Sunday News have persistently but without any evidence claimed that Command Agriculture is a $500 million initiative supporting maize production under 400ha that is poised to yield some three million tonnes of maize in what would be an unprecedented bumper maize harvest.
Furthermore, I pointed out that I have expressed serious concern that The Herald and The Sunday Mail had gone over the top and published false stories claiming that the Government had used the alleged success of Command Agriculture to institute a Command Economy as Government policy.
Against this backdrop, and given the negative political fixation that successionists who control the public media have against me, it did not come as a surprise to see the scurrilously personalised Sunday Mail lead story today alleging that I am a beneficiary of Command Agriculture and accusing me of behaving like an MDC activist only because I questioned the misrepresentation and exaggeration of Command Agriculture routinely published by Zimpapers.
For the avoidance of doubt, I stand by everything I have said about the unanswered and very serious questions about the poor implementation of Command Agriculture and about the folly of public media lies that the Government has adopted a Command Economy.
No amount of vilification will intimidate me to move from truth to lies.
The claim in today’s Sunday Mail that l benefited from Command Agriculture demonstrates the ideogical bankruptcy of successionists who clearly don’t even know the intended beneficiaries of Command Agriculture, as a contractual programme.
In policy terms, Command Agriculture was designed as a “Special Maize Programme for Import substitution”, and this in fact is its technical or policy name.
In other words, this is one contractual maize input scheme that is intended to benefit the nation by getting farmers to produce for the State to eliminate maize imports. Each contracted farmer is supposed to give to the State five tonnes of maize per hectare.
The apparatchiks of Command Agriculture who are quoted in the Sunday Mail story claiming to have dealt with me in any way or that l signed for this or that input are, like their handlers, command liars who bask in the folly of wishful thinking.
The fact that the Sunday Mail story acknowledges that my family farm “has one of the best maize crops in the food-producing hub of Mashonaland Central” is a tribute to my wife, Betty, who is the farmer in the family.
She works very hard and honestly against untold adversities and I am proud of her achievement given the odds she has overcome.
It’s very telling that despite the begrudging acknowledgment that our family farm has one of the best crop in Mashonaland Central, the forces behind Command Agriculture could not hide their evil intentions to “investigate” this farm that has produced one of the best crops “for abuse of State resource”.
Very satanic. Nothing new.
We have suffered this evil and cruelty before. Somebody should tell these evil command fellows that the whole deal is a contract governed in terms of contact law.
Lastly, l hope by making me the lead story of VP Mnangagwa’s field day visit in Mt Darwin, The Sunday Mail and its handlers are not imagining they can hide the sobering facts about Command Agriculture that were presented in public by Martin Dinha including that the expected average yield of Command Agriculture in Mashonaland Central is two tonnes per hectare, far less than the targeted five tonnes.
Too many farmers did not get all the required inputs and when they got any, it was not on time or the inputs were not sufficient as per the contract. Consequently, the targets were not met as shown by the attached and self-explanatory summary of the state of Command Agriculture in Mashonaland Central Province presented at VP Mnangagwa’s field day in Mt Darwin on 24 March 2017.
The expected national maize harvest from Command Agriculture is projected, not assessed, at between 600,000 and 750,000 tonnes.
Otherwise yes, this is a very promising maize season and the expected bumper harvest will come more from the Presidential Input Scheme, self-financing and other contract farming schemes than from Command Agriculture, this time around.
By Prof JN Moyo. 26-3-17