Home » Business » No More Free Inputs, Farmers Told

Smallholder farmers will not get free inputs this year and must mobilise their own resources, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Davis Marapira has said.

In the 2013-14 season, more than 1,6 million households got Government support. Addressing communal farmers at a recent field day at Topora Business Centre in Chikwanda communal lands, Masvingo last week, Deputy Minister Marapira said farmers should start preparing for the 201415 season.

“I want to urge all farmers to start preparing for the 201415 farming season now by making sure that they have their own seed and inputs because Government is not going to give you inputs for free with effect from this year,” he said.

“This is the time to start preparing for the next farming season because we have scrapped direct support to farmers. We do not want to promote the dependence syndrome.”

Deputy Minister Marapira downplayed fears this could negatively affect agricultural productivity.

“We are going to subsidise local companies that manufacture inputs like fertilisers and seed,” he said.

“We hope this will see our farmers being able to buy cheap and affordable products.”

Deputy Minister Marapira said scrapping of Government inputs support facilities did not mean the end of the Presidential Well-Wishers Inputs Support Scheme.

He said his ministry would engage Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire on preparations for the winter wheat crop.

“We have not yet finalised anything on winter wheat preparations because we need to be assured of electricity supplies first and we will soon be engaging the responsible minister over the issue”, said Deputy Minister Marapira.

In the 20132014 season, rural farmers got 10kg of cereal seed and 100kg of fertilisers under Government’s inputs support facility.

Source : The Herald