Home » Governance » Govt Urged to Compensate Farmers

Government has been asked to pay the current market price for outstanding payments for maize delivered to Grain Marketing Board during the 2013-2014 marketing season. This was said by legislators when officials from the Agricultural Marketing Authority appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development yesterday.

“There are some farmers who delivered their grain last year and are yet to be paid and some of them have borrowed to finance planting for this season.

“Others have failed to plant anything. Since you said you recommend producer prices to Government, is it not possible for you to recommend that the affected farmers be compensated by being paid at the current prices,” Cde Tsitsi Gezi (Zanu-PF) Mashonaland Central proportional representation said.

Cde Kenneth Musanhu (Zanu-PF) Bindura North, echoed similar sentiments saying some farmers would not harvest much this year because they did not get adequate inputs.

“If nothing is done to try and help the farmers, I think agriculture will die a natural death.

“Most farmers cannot get back to the fields,” he said.

AMA marketing director Mrs Nancy Zitsensa acknowledged the difficulties that the farmers were going through.

“I agree that there should be some compensation for farmers that have not been paid and borrowed but this should not be through a price differential system because that would be difficult to implement and would be prone to abuse,” Mrs Zitsensa said.

AMA raised over $53 million through AMA Bills last year to pay for grain delivered and has already floated other such bills to raise an additional $47 million for the same purpose.

GMB has largely failed to pay farmers for maize delivered, while Government blocked some private buyers from exploiting farmers by offering prices below the gazetted price of $395 per tonne.

Source : The Herald