Home » Industry » Farmers Panic Over Inputs Delay

Thousands of farmers who applied for input loans from Lasch Enterprise Private Limited could have been prejudiced of their money after they failed to secure seed and fertilisers, despite paying application and insurance fees.

The farmers said yesterday that they were no longer sure if they would access the inputs for this season.

Affected farmers told The Herald that they have spent more than two months travelling to the company’s headquarters in Harare with the purpose of collecting the inputs, but the Lasch officials failed to give satisfactory answers.

Lasch Enteprises entered into a joint venture with the ZUNU-PF Youth League to provide inputs to farmers and the deal was launched by the party’s ousted secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa in June this year.

Some of the farmers are now demanding back the $36 application fee and $342 they paid for the insurance so that they could benefit from the scheme.

After paying the application and the insurance fees, a farmer was expected to receive inputs worth $3 000 and pay back the money after selling the produce.

Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe farmer, Mrs Jayne Kasambarare said a number of farmers have been sleeping at Lasch Enterprise premises for weeks, waiting for the inputs. “Lasch Enterprise management has been giving us empty promises,” she said.

“Since the programme started, only a few people have received fertilisers and we are only holding on to the vouchers.

“Some tobacco farmers received fertilisers, but there are no chemicals. We are now afraid we may not get the inputs this season.”

Beatrice farmer, Mrs Angeline Musengeyi said most farmers feared they had been duped and appealed to Government to intervene. “I do not have money to continue travelling to and from Beatrice, so I have to put up at the offices until I receive the inputs,” she said.

“I thought the input programme was real but now I am no longer certain if I am going to plant maize,” she said.

Another farmer, Mrs Precious Japi said she paid more than $400 to join the input scheme and insurance.

“It pains me that more farmers are coming up to join the scheme when we have not received the inputs,” she said,

Lasch Enterprises, managing director, Mr Evans Zininga confirmed that the company was having challenges procuring inputs for the farmers who had joined the input scheme.

Lasch Enterprises entered into a joint venture with ZANU-PF Youth League to promote farming business in Zimbabwe, help empowering farmers and steer the economic development of the nation.

The input scheme was launched in July by Cde Mutasa and was expected to mobilise $2,4 billion towards the agricultural sector.

Source : The Herald