Let's prepare adequately for agric season

WE WOULD like to call upon all Zimbabweans both in rural and urban areas to prepare adequately for the current agricultural season for, in this sea of poverty, farming might prove to be our only salvation.

Even though the temperatures are still soaring and many people are grappling with severe water shortages in both rural and urban areas — the rainy season has come and we should make sure inputs are availed to farmers on time.

While we believe the government-sponsored command agriculture is discriminatory since it targets only those living near water bodies. We also believe that it can be progressive if inputs are not abused and distributed on partisan basis as is often the norm.

We would like to urge government, through its departments such as the District Development Fund (DDF), to provide tillage facilities to communal farmers who have lost most of their livestock because of the El Nino-induced drought.

Government should, however, desist from using inputs as political campaigning tools as this usually backfires when the intended beneficiaries horde things like maize seed for resale.

Zanu PF, some of whose leaders have publicly declared that food aid would be distributed on partisan lines, should forthwith stop the archaic practice which usually has ripple effects and even contributes to poor harvests.

However, it is not only the duty of government to ensure farmers have inputs but of everyone with the means to support their family in rural areas with seed this farming season.

We know from history that agriculture has always contributed significantly to the country’s GDP and was once the mainstay of the economy until President Robert Mugabe’s chaotic land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.

Agriculture used to support not only the farmers but industries as well and contributed to the country’s foreign currency earnings when Zimbabwe was still a net maize exporter.

Thus, collectively as a nation, we need to start coming together and putting in place the right tools that would give fresh impetus to the sector.

Some economists project that the country would need at least $2 billion to revive agriculture and there is no doubt that the revival of that sector would have ripple effects that will only benefit our economy.

We need to start exporting in order to earn foreign currency and that can be achieved if we timeously supply farmers with inputs and also provide security of land.

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