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Minister Made says govt is looking after all farmers

by Stephen Jakes
22 Nov 2015 at 06:39hrs | Views
THE MINISTER OF Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Joseph Made  has said the government is looking after all farmers in Zimbabwe and would not be able to favour any other farmer ahead of others.

" As a policy, Government is looking after all farmers and there is nothing like small farmers, for example, people from the resettlement areas or those from the purchase areas, the A2 farmers,": he said.

"Let me take you back a bit. Initially, we were assisting A2 farmers and I just want to remind him of that. We were sourcing grain for small farmers and the Government decided that the small farmers should also be assisted but we did not forget about A2 farmers."

"I would like to make that point known that we did not forget about them. What we have done this year is to look at all the farmers and we did not mind about whether or not he was on A1 or A2, we thought that all farmers should be paid equally for their grain that they would have taken to the GMB." he added.

Made said some farmers took their wheat and maize to the GMB and we are supposed to be paying for those who delivered in 2013/2014. We will be paying those very soon starting tomorrow.

"Now, coming to those other people whom we have referred to the banks, we are saying that all farmers should go to the banks, talk to them and maybe, honour up that they are owing the banks. Every farmer should go to their bank. We know that farmers are owing banks but we are not saying that they should go today. What we are saying is that we are aware that farmers are owing the banks," he said.

"We are saying that they should go back to their banks and honour up to the banks and maybe they will be given advice by the banks which they have to follow."

He said what the Government is going to do with the farmers, was to look at vulnerable farmers and at the moment, as it look at the rain situation.

"The rains have come late and we are not expecting a lot of rains, but we will assist the farmers. We are not saying that there are no rains, but there are other things that we are also doing. We are trying to put up irrigation that will assist the small farmers and we are also going to go into irrigation to cater for the A2 farmers. We will be helping each other," he said.

"What we are really looking at this year is the issue of cotton because he has asked a question that was directed towards that. We will be assisting about 1000 0000 households. We will be assisting them with cotton inputs especially in the dry regions. We will also try and assist the cotton farmers. We are still discussing the issue, but at the end of the day we know that we will assist."

He said the Government is going to announce that it will assist cotton farmers with inputs because it want to go back to serious cotton farming.

"We will be looking at fertilizers and crop chemicals because those are mostly expensive for cotton farmers," said Made.

"We know that we will get good harvests from there. We will also get seed cake where we can get cotton cake. The Chairman, the Hon. Vice President is here. He is responsible for the Food and Nutrition Cluster. We will still have to sit down and come up with proper things. I am saying, we will not discriminate against the A2 and the A1 communal farmers. We will be looking at all the farmers and all farmers will be assisted."

The minister said they have been told how much rains will fall.

"We are not saying that because of the weather forecast we are not going to do anything. No farmer is going to sit back because of the weather forecast. We are expecting all our farmers to start ploughing. We will also look at our farmers who are into animal husbandry and other things," he said.

Source - Byo24News

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