Friday, October 07, 2011

(STICKY) (HERALD) New farmers doing well: Biti

COMMENT - The Black New Farmers are going gangbusters, despite the destruction of the national currency by economic sanctions (ZDERA), despite sabotaging and underfunding of agriculture by Tendai Biti and the MDC. This is not the result of the return of any Rhodesian farmers either, because that hasn't happened. It is simply because of good rains and the stabilisation of the currency. And the key to agriculture in Zimbabwe and the entire region - irrigation. Output in numbers:

MAIZE (metric tonnes)
2008 400,000
2011 1,500,000

2008 34mn
2011 174mn

That's the stabilisation of the currency and rains. Not the return of rhodesian farmers, which did not happen.

New farmers doing well: Biti
Friday, 07 October 2011 00:00
Herald Reporter

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti on Wednesday acknowledged that new farmers were doing well with production of most agricultural produce increasing since 2008. He said this while responding to a question by Mt Darwin East legislator, Cde Betty Chikava (Zanu-PF) on what Government was doing to pay farmers for grain delivered to the GMB.

"In 2008 the maize production was 400 000 metric tonnes but in 2011 the production of maize stands at 1,5 million metric tonnes and could have been 1,7 million metric tonnes but because of the . . . drought between December 2010 and January 2011 we lost 11 percent of hectarage.

"The second crop is tobacco. In 2008 we produced 34 million kg and in 2011 our expected delivery will be 174 million kg and as I stand here 134 million kg have been delivered. In fact, with all the crops and livestock in Zimbabwe there has been a fundamental increase in production between 2008 and 2011 with the exception of two crops, tea and coffee. Even milk has risen to 94 million litres although this is still below the over 200 million that we need," he said.

[And that is just from restauration of the currency. This gives you a stark picture of the extent of the damage that economic sanctions like ZDERA have done to the economy. And destruction of the currency is just one of the effects of the credit freeze has had on the Zimbabwean economy. - MrK]

Zimbabwe, he added, was set to meet its target of 500 000 tonnes of strategic grain reserves due to increased deliveries to GMB.

Minister Biti said Government had spent US$1,9 billion on agriculture since 2008, adding that they are also crafting an input scheme for vulnerable groups and large scale and A2 farmers this farming season.

Government had released US$10 million to pay farmers that have delivered grain but part of the money they are owed would be offset by inputs.

"What we have done is that we are gathering inputs to the tune of US$30 million and a farmer can liquidate his indebtedness with seed and fertiliser. But we will be able to pay any cent we owe by December 31 in the year of our Lord 2011," he said.

Minister Biti, however, took a swipe at the GMB for having a large salary bill that is chewing US$10 million a month. The parastatal would soon be unbundled into two companies dealing with collection of the strategic grain reserve and the other commercial activities.

Minister Biti, however, said the long term solution to ensure that farmers are paid on time was to have a commodity exchange.



So what - Friday, October 7, 2011 at 04:53 AM

He will be arm twisted into reversing it. They will freeze his acconts if he doesnt, all that money they gave him

Jambanja pa Salisbury - Friday, October 7, 2011 at 06:17 AM

That's good, they are doing well....but are they doing well enough, i.e. optimising land use? We want real statistics here, like productive land previously held by whites farmers now owned by blackfarmers', productivity per hectare then (note not prodcution), land under utilisation then, volume of agric exports then, volume of agric imports then, etc, etc and then we compare like for like to see whether they are doing better than their yesteryear farmer or comparatively better than their past selves! Do not forget to take stock of land allocated but not occupied, absentee farmers, I mean! That way we will be able to assess for ourselves whether the figures mentioned have meaning or not!

Now, turning to GMB and Biti's proposal. The parastatal like you rightly say, needs complete overhaul and purging it of dead wood! The most beautiful and practical way you proposed is the commodity exchange, farmers have a much higher likelihood of getting realistic value for their crops! Apa Biti wabaya dede nemukanwa....all farmers should campaign and vote for you as they are poised to earn more income should you be in full charge! Hahahahah ...............Laugh the Beloved Country.

NICHOLAS - Friday, October 7, 2011 at 01:14 PM

Listen who is talking! An MDC-T MINISTER. Am i dreaming? I thought President Mugabe's land reforms were a total failure with food production going down every year. I thought we can not go ahead with our indegenisation policies because just like the land reforms, these will also fail

Vana Biti na Tsvangison wenyu. Musatambe na Gushungo, murume uya ane inonzi vission from the heavens. He is our nation's Moses, and will deliver us from the jaws of collonial bondage which has now reached a critical economic stage. What is independence when you cannot control your own resources???

Fellow Zimbabweans, please take note of what the HON Minister have said. It may be useful in your decisions in the polls which are just around the conner!!!

TruthHurts! - Friday, October 7, 2011 at 01:49 PM

Aaarrrggghhhh, and the above is coming from Biti??????? You are not serious!!! Biti and his numerous ploys aimed at destroying black farmers efforts to provide for the country need no introduction here and yet here he is marvelling at how regardless of his saboteur tactics the same farmers are excelling at proving the wise words of President Mugabe that : Zimbabwe is an agricultural country and Zimbabweans are natural farmers, hence it is through agriculture that we will turn around the economy!!! Zimbabweans will win this one whether the sellouts and their masters like it or not and our country will attain the breadbasket status it has long enjoyed that first came with the govt of President Mugabe in 1980 and not what some re-writers of history want us to believe that the breadbasket status was there during the days of Rhodesia!!!

Mutauri WeChokwadi - Friday, October 7, 2011 at 02:43 PM

The Land reform is irreversible, we have gone through the difficult part..the last 10 yrs.

Now we are on the growth stage and there is no stopping Zimbabweans.

Who said we must whoever be hewers of wood, and drawers of water for the white master?

Gushungo titungamirirei tiende mberi

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