Home » General » ZIMBABWE GOVT URGED TO PAY FARMERS THEIR DUES BEFORE YEAR-END

HARARE, Dec 24– Zimbabwean farmers can still plant and salvage the season if the government pays them their dues by the end of this month, a farmers union official says.

The Zimbabwe government has floated Agriculture Bills through the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) to pay farmers for grain delivered last season.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) President Wonder Chabikwa said here Tuesday the country could still meet its target of producing 1.6 metric tons of maize if farmers were paid their dues by next week.

Chabikwa said farmers who were owed by the GMB were watching while the rains were falling as they did not have money to buy seed and fertilizer.

The government has called on companies to advance it money to pay farmers and expected to raise enough to pay them by the end of this month.

“We are told interest has been shown by various organisations that have funds but we do not know how much has been deposited so far,” said Chabikwa.

“We remain hopeful that we will get our money next week and buy inputs but for those who have their monies farming is going on well. It will now depend with the length of the rains and the quality of seeds planted. If the rains proceed up to end of March we will be able to meet our target of 1.9 tonnes (of maize).”

Last year the country produced 1.4 tonnes of maize against a target of 1.7 tonnes.

Chabikwa said delays by the GMB to pay farmers would affect production. He urged farmers to move away from long-season crops to small grains or short-season varieties.

Zimbabwe this year received rains later than expected but the Meteorological Department has forecast normal to above normal rainfall throughout the cropping season although few areas would experience dry
spells towards the end.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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