By Norman Muchemwa
Government has started distributing inputs under the Presidential Input Scheme, four months before the start of the summer cropping season, to ensure they reach the beneficiaries on time.
Farmers started receiving the inputs last month.
Addressing ZANU-PF supporters at a rally at Chipadze Stadium here on Saturday, President Mnangagwa attributed the early distribution of inputs to hard work by the Government.
“We have already started distributing inputs under the Presidential Input Scheme. What kind of Government can you yearn for?
“We are in July and you usually received inputs between October and November. Early distribution of Presidential inputs is due to hard work from my team.
“If you do not perform, then we can never work together,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said inputs under the Command Agriculture Programme will also be released soon.
“There is also Command Agriculture, the inputs will also be coming soon. There are those who supervise that area.”
“We have our Command Agriculture, the first model was for maize and it was a resounding success and because of that model Zimbabwe will never again suffer from food deficiency.
“There might be some regions which may receive below normal rainfall, but we make sure that we have produced enough grain throughout every season,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Government would soon distribute irrigation equipment to support Command Agriculture.
“If God blesses us with enough rains, that will be welcome, but in the event we do not receive enough rains, we have irrigation projects we are undertaking,” he said.
“For instance here in Mashonaland Central, we have so many dams. I once toured the province with Cde (Martin) Dinha (Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs) and those dams require us to give you irrigation equipment.
“We cannot just urge you farmers to do farming without support from Government in terms of equipment.
“We are receiving quite a number of centre pivots from Spain which we are distributing to all provinces so that wherever there is water, there is irrigation.”
President Mnangagwa told the gathering that Zimbabwe was now harvesting more tobacco than during the colonial era.
He said Government was on a drive to support cotton farming as well.
“Still in agriculture, we are now farming tobacco more than the days of Ian Smith. On cotton, yesterday (Thursday) we were in Gokwe where we saw loads and loads of cotton,” said the President.
“Government conducted a three year programme after a realisation that the cotton industry was under threat from thieves who were doing side marketing offering low prices.
“We will continue with this programme where we are giving free inputs to capacitate cotton production. Everything you need will be given to you to produce enough cotton,” he said.
He said the price of cotton would be reviewed as there were negotiations going on in Government.