Friday, November 09, 2007

(HERALD) ‘Chiefs to continue allocating animal-drawn implements’

‘Chiefs to continue allocating animal-drawn implements’
Herald Reporter

THE allocation and distribution of animal-drawn implements under the farm mechanisation programme has not changed and will continue to be administered by chiefs and other traditional leaders, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has reaffirmed. Clarifying the distribution modalities yesterday, RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono said the earlier position as stated at the unveiling of the second phase of the farming programme still stood.

"The Reserve Bank wishes to unequivocally reaffirm that the allocation and distribution of animal-drawn implements would be spearheaded by chiefs.

"Chiefs through traditional leadership structures, namely headmen and village heads, shall ensure that each village convenes a village assembly and draw up a list of beneficiaries in priority order," Dr Gono said.

He said this was arrived at following consultations between the central bank and the Council of Chiefs, represented by its leader Chief Fortune Charumbira and chiefs from all provinces.

"It has become necessary to clarify the modalities of distribution of the animal drawn agricultural implements, which modalities have not changed from the official position at the launch of Phase 2 of the Agricultural Mechanisation Programme on October 8th, 2007," he said.

Dr Gono said traditional leaders would select beneficiaries in their areas based on knowledge of their farming capabilities.

Village heads and headmen would then sign the list of beneficiaries compiled before being approved by the chief.

The list would be forwarded to the central bank through the offices of the district administrator, provincial administrator and governors and resident ministers of the respective provinces for implementation.

Dr Gono added that councillors, Agritex officials and other local leadership could assist traditional leaders in drawing up lists of farmers who should benefit.

He stressed that only lists confirmed through the stipulated process would be processed by the RBZ.

He urged chiefs, headmen and provincial leadership to expeditiously distribute the implements.

"As the rains are upon us, we urge chiefs and others in local government and provincial leadership to expedite the distribution process," Dr Gono said.

So far at least 18 000 animal-drawn ploughs have been distributed throughout the country under the second phase of the mechanisation programme.

The first phase saw distribution of tractors, combine harvesters and other equipment to commercial farmers.

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