Govt unveils $161m input support programme

Govt unveils $161m input support programme
Published: 02 October 2013
The government has unveiled a $161 million agriculture input support programme for the 2013-2014 agricultural season with $12 million having been disbursed to settle debts owed to fertiliser and seed firms.

The unveiling of the funding is in line with the government's stance to stimulate agriculture for the benefit of other downstream sectors such as manufacturing and others.

Briefing journalists in Harare, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa said the input support programme targets communal, old resettlement, small scale and A1 farmers covering 1,6 million households.

Chinamasa said besides the $12 million disbursed to fertiliser and seed firms, a total of $9,2 million has also been disbursed to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to pay off farmers for grain deliveries under the current marketing season.

"The $161 million agriculture facility will see the settling of arrears to fertiliser and seed companies to ensure that they continue to support agriculture. The government is committed towards supporting agriculture by restoring confidence among inputs suppliers," said Chinamasa.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made said the input support scheme is the last in this structure as energies will be directed towards subsidising the manufacturing companies.

"This way of supporting farmers is going to be the last in this structure as we think subsidising is effective to the manufacturing sector," he said.

The 2013-14 agricultural season will see farmers getting a 10 kg pack of maize seed or small grain, a 50 kilogramme bag of Compound D, 50 kgs of Ammonium Nitrate and 50 kg bag of lime.

Livestock farmers are also covered under the facility but will receive vaccines and stock feeds.

The facility also includes $530 000 that will be channelled towards the rehabilitation of tractors for the District Development Fund.

Besides support from the government, the private sector is set to contribute $120 million while the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with co-operating partners, is set to fund this year's season to the tune of $19,25 million targeting 77 800 small-holder farmers.
- zbc
Tags: Input,


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