GOVERNMENT has set aside $60 billion to ensure timely payment of farmers by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) this marketing season.
President Mnangagwa announced this during his address to mark Zimbabwe’s 41st Independence Anniversary on Sunday.
The GMB is already setting up collection points ahead of the start of grain deliveries and its target is to set up more than 500 fixed and mobile collection points to complement its collection depots.
The country is expecting a bumper harvest this year following good rains received throughout this past summer cropping season. The setting up of the collection points is expected to drastically reduce the distance travelled by farmers to deliver their grain to the GMB.
Government’s Presidential Climate Proofed Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme, Presidential Input Support Scheme, Command Agriculture, Presidential Horticulture Programme and farmers initiatives have this year yielded very positive results hence the bumper harvest.
This is a very welcome development given the amount of the much-needed foreign currency the country has been spending on food imports. The farmers are expected to harvest enough to meet the nation’s food requirements.
The GMB, we want to believe, has adequate storage facilities for all the grain to be delivered by farmers this marketing season.
It is important for the GMB to ensure all its silos are functional before farmers start delivering their grain. The quality of grain depends on the state of storage facilities so it is imperative for GMB to ensure it has the best storage facilities.
Zimbabwean farmers have demonstrated that with the good rains and adequate support in the form of inputs, they have the capacity to produce not just enough to feed the nation but even surplus for export.
The more than 300 000 farmers allocated land in what used to be a preserve of the minority white farmers have shamed the prophets of doom who have been predicting a collapse of the agriculture sector following the land reform programme.
The doomsayers were saying Zimbabwe will soon be reduced from being a breadbasket of the region to a basket case after Government addressed the skewed land ownership which favoured the minority whites. Zimbabwe has, much to the chagrin of these doomsayers, demonstrated that after 41 years of independence it is not just a mature democracy but has the capacity to fully utilise its natural resources to grow its economy and improve the general welfare of its citizens.
The sons and daughters of the soil that sacrificed their lives to bring about our independence should be smiling in their graves. A lot has happened since Independence in 1980 and one of the notable achievements is the successful implementation of the land reform programme.
In his address on Sunday, President Mnangagwa said despite the disruption brought about by Covid-19, the country remained on track to achieve Vision 2030 which entails transforming the economy into an upper middle-income.
The challenge to every Zimbabwean therefore, is to put shoulder to the wheel as we work to grow the economy and improve our welfare as a people. We have all that is required to achieve our vision of an upper middle-income economy by 2030 and all that is required is to work hard.