'Extend 20% forex scheme to all farmers'

'Extend 20% forex scheme to all farmers'
Published: 19 December 2018
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) should extend its 20 percent forex payment scheme to all farmers other than cotton and tobacco growers so as to enhance increased agricultural output.

In an interview Federation of Farmers' Union chairman, Mr Wonder Chabikwa, said the Apex bank's decision to pay tobacco and cotton growers 20 percent of their produce in foreign currency in the next marketing season was worthwhile.

He said the move would help cover import gaps of essential commodities and widen opportunity for farmers.

Mr Chabikwa, however, said the scheme has to be extended to other agricultural sub-sectors such as grain and soya bean as they also play a significant role in the economy.

"Government should also extend its incentives to other crops like maize, wheat and soya beans because they are also doing a good job in terms of foreign currency input," he said.

All farmers need foreign currency because they also need to buy and fix their machinery in foreign currency and at times acquire inputs in forex, added Mr Chabikwa.

He said if the incentive remains biased towards tobacco and cotton, more farmers could switch to these two and cause a deficit of output in other critical crops, which might cripple food security.

To secure high production levels, tobacco and cotton farmers appealed to the Government to pay them in foreign currency so as to cushion them from distortions resulting from the multi-tier exchange system and to buy inputs that require foreign currency.
- chronicle
Tags: Forex,


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