October 31, 2003

Report displays problems with government funded farming

A report presented by a parliamentary portfolio committee has shown that the government is struggling with its agricultural projects funded from the last budget allocation. The report, which was presented during a 2004 pre-budget seminar by the portfolio committee chairman, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube (Zanu PF, Zhombe), said there was chaos on the land. He revealed that even in the event of good rains, inadequate preparations would hamper any prospects of a bumper harvest in the country. According to him, the portfolio committee found that there was confusion in seed provision and distribution as well. The report cited as impediments lack of agricultural inputs, delays in announcing producer prices, inconsistent fertiliser supply and the dual foreign currency regime currently in place.

The paper was part of a wider report the lands and agriculture committee compiled from fact-finding visits to resettled farms in all the country's nine administrative districts since January this year. Government allocated $12,5 billion in the 2003 budget for the supply of agricultural inputs and a further $45 billion in the supplementary budget. The report also stated that the seed distribution programme to resettled farmers was a mess as it did not take into account the ecological make up of the country. (Zimbabwe Independent, Harare)

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