Cabinet approves new crop production “recovery” plan
Harare, (New Ziana) – Government on Wednesday approved a new maize, wheat and soya bean production recovery plan aimed at boosting production and ensuring food self-sufficiency.
The plan, an upgrade of the command agriculture scheme, is targeting 5 000 “highly productive” farmers and will also have a Presidential Input Support Scheme (Pfumvudza) component targeting 1.6 million vulnerable households to produce maize.
“Cabinet considered and approved the maize, wheat and soya bean production recovery plan,” Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told a post Cabinet media briefing.
“The recovery plan is an extract of the Agriculture and Food systems Transformation Strategy, which seeks to achieve over US$8 billion Gross Agriculture Production Value by 2023.”
Vulnerable households will get a standardized package of 5kg seed; 50kg basal and 50kg top dressing fertilizer.
“Cabinet acknowledged that the maize, wheat and soyabean recovery plan, if meticulously implemented, has the potential to reverse the dependence on imports for these crops as well as to mitigate the financial burden on Treasury and ultimately put the country on a trajectory to attain Vision 2030,” Mutsvangwa said.
Explaining the logic behind the plan, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said it was “broader” than command agriculture as it focused on climate proofing the country’s agriculture in the light of climate change.
“This recovery plan is a plan for climate proofing our agriculture so that we are even more self sufficient, This is going beyond command agriculture but still retains the features of command agriculture which is already in built,” he said.
“Climate proofing here means we are going to invest in irrigation, accelerate investment in irrigation. Already we have budgeted $500 million for irrigation in our 2020 budget.”
Meanwhile, government hiked the producer prices for maize and traditional grains to $6 958 and $7 260 respectively from $4 000.
Mutsvangwa said the review was meant “to encourage deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and for the replenishment of the Strategic Grain Reserve.”