Thursday, September 06, 2007

(HERALD) Vital to promote contract farming

Vital to promote contract farming

EDITOR — Manufacturing companies complain that farmers are not producing enough to sustain our agro-based economy. We have heard the litany of complaints, but the question is what should be done to rectify this anomaly? I think President Mugabe should urge the Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement to insert a clause in the lease agreements to compel all commercial farmers reserve a minimum of 10 hectares for each of the following crops; wheat, maize, soyabeans and sunflower.

The clause should stipulate that the Government would buy these crops at market price, failing which the land will be repossessed.

We must not forget that these farmers got the land for free, and Agribank is giving them loans for a song, not forgetting the farm equipment they got under the mechanisation programme.

It is only fair that the farmers complement Government efforts to turn around the economy. The farmers can use the remaining hectarage to produce whatever they want.

As for the companies that are always complaining that the land is not being used productively, they should engage the commercial farmers and go into contract farming. This is working well in the cotton and beverage industry.

Tendai O. Tekere.
Warren Park D,

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