Government Launches $2.7 Billion Command Agriculture Scheme

The government of Zimbabwe this Friday launched $2,7 billion agriculture “special” scheme towards the production of wheat.

The development was announced by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga who said that the “special programme” would be funded by the commercial bank, CBZ Bank. Chiwenga said:

The country requires approximately 400 000 metric tonnes of wheat grain annually and it is currently achieving four metric tonnes per hectare which compares well to the other wheat-producing countries.

The major challenge in wheat production is due to a number of challenges and among these are inadequate water for irrigation and electricity supply, high input costs and late disbursement of funds which results in late distribution of inputs to farmers under the special programme on wheat, maize and soya beans.

He added that Cabinet approved continued power supply to irrigations while inputs would be provided to registered farmers using the Grain Marketing Board network of depots.

The development comes when the country is facing an acute shortage of wheat and mealie-meal despite reports saying that it financed Command Agriculture through Sakunda Holdings, to the tune of US$3 billion when Command Agriculture was introduced.

The government admits there has been rampant looting of inputs by farmers and top government officials.

More: NewsDay

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