via Made must tell the truth – DailyNews Live 30 MARCH 2014
Agriculture minister Joseph Made must address the nation to clarify his statement that Zimbabwe is set to enjoy a bumper harvest despite evidence on the ground suggesting otherwise.
Made was basing this on his assertion that “farmers had put 2,2 million hectares of land under cereal crops, with staple maize taking up the bigger portion of the hectarage”.
But information filtering through from the Zanu PF politburo meeting suggests that Made made a U-turn when addressing his colleagues. He probably told the politburo that he had been misquoted.
But in the spirit of making assurances to a nation full of mistrust for the misfiring minister, Made must address the people and give details on the harvest estimates and explain how he came up with the analysis.
With the economy in a free fall, one of the areas which might help in turning around our fortunes as a country is the agricultural industry which has suffered since the land reform programme was launched over a decade ago.
Made cannot just wake up and shout from the top of a mountain that Zimbabwe will have a bumper harvest all because of the heavy rains the country experienced. What about the inputs, equipment, skilled manpower and all other resources that are needed in serious farming?
We tend to agree with fiery Zanu PF Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa who questioned Made’s judgment and demanded to know what formula he had used to come up with the bumper harvest notion he has told the nation.
Mliswa used his constituency as a sample said they received seed for just 90 000 hectares, Compound D fertiliser for 40 000 hectares and AN fertiliser for 20 000 hectares.
“Was Made lying about the national bumper harvest?” Mliswa asked and we ask the same question.
What is even more shocking is that Made’s deputy, Paddy Zhanda admitted that government had not done any physical field assessment which would have come up with more credible estimates.
MDC shadow minister for Agriculture Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, has also weighed in calling on President Robert Mugabe to fire Made or else hunger will continue to stalk the nation.
He said: “I think minister Made is fond of day dreaming. He’s really fond of dreaming. I do not seriously believe that we will have a bumper harvest because good rains do not necessarily translate to a bumper harvest.”
Like we have said before, Made annually perpetuates inaccuracies regarding crop production, and endangers the nation with fictitious crop output forecasts that have tragic consequences.