Friday, January 02, 2009
SEVERAL people in Zvimba North constituency yesterday shared 70 tonnes of maize seed from the Government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Dr Ignatius Chombo who is also the legislator for the constituency handed over the maize seed to the people in Mutorashanga.
Leadership and chiefs in the constituency will distribute the rest of the maize seed this week. Speaking at the handover ceremony, Dr Chombo urged the people to use traditional farming methods if they cannot access modern farming equipment especially those provided by the Government.
"In January you should not only wait for maize but start growing small grain seeds in order to feed your families," he said.
He said that Government was doing everything it could to provide inputs since most people had been complaining that they had not benefited. He said that through the Champion Farmer programme and Operation Maguta, among others, most people had managed to acquire agricultural inputs.
Other people also benefited through some Non Governmental Organisations while others managed to buy for themselves.
"Today we are here, targeting those people who never benefited from any of these to ensure that we have enough food. This year, it is promising that we have good rains and it is a good season," said Dr Chombo. He said although the seed might not be enough, the Government was helping the community.
Recently chiefs in the constituency managed to get 60 tonnes of maize seed which they distributed to the people while the 10 tonnes handed over by the minister will be distributed in nine districts in the area.
Each district will have a tonne of maize seed while the leadership, targeting those who would have been left out would distribute the other tonne.
Dr Chombo said each person would receive 5kg of the Pannar maize seeds. This also comes after last week, Government started distributing agricultural inputs received from South Africa under the R300 million Sadc aid package.
The package saw communal, old resettlement and old purchase farming areas receiving maize seed, small grain seed, Compound D and ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
Under the package, the South African government will give Zimbabwe 12 700 tonnes of maize seed, 2 404 tonnes of small grain seed, 2 800 tonnes of top dressing fertilizer, 8 500 tonnes of Compound D and 10 million litres of fuel.
The South African agricultural package, unveiled under the aegis of Sadc, followed an injection of US$21,4 million into Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector by the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The Government is also running the Champion Farmer programme that has targeted 500 000 hectares for maize production and a further 200 000 hectares for small grain production.