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Pfumvudza inputs abusers face blacklisting

Elita Chikwati
Agriculture Reporter
Farmers and local leaders who sell or give away inputs they receive under the Climate-proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme (Pfumvudza) will be blacklisted, will never benefit from any future Government programme and could face prosecution.

The Joint Operations Command has been asked to monitor the lists submitted at provincial level and ensure Agritex officers lower down the line cannot be bullied by councillors trying to get allocation rules broken.

Beneficiaries of the Pfumvudza inputs will be compelled to sign a contract form designed by a legal team, which will be used to take legal action against those who do not put the inputs to good use.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement has intensified efforts to curb the abuse of Government sponsored inputs programmes after past reports of farmers and some political and traditional leaders abusing inputs under a variety of schemes, with some selling them or issuing them to undeserving people.

Agritex acting chief director, Mr Stancila Tapererwa yesterday said the ministry had engaged other organisations to ensure the inputs were given to deserving people and put to good use. The Joint Operations Command (JOC) had been roped in to oversee the programme.

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“We agreed on structures for the distribution of the inputs. At provincial level, the Provincial Development Coordinator chairs the committee while at district level, the DDC (District Development Coordinator) chairs. At ward level, the committee is chaired by a councillor. We have (also) put in place JOC,” he said.

JOC comprises of police, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS), the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the President’s Department.

All the above departments will attend the provincial meetings and check that the inputs were

given to deserving people.

Mr Tapererwa said names of beneficiaries are submitted to the provincial committee and JOC members will assist in monitoring. At district level, JOC will assist Agritex staff to ensure they are not bulldozed by councillors to give inputs to undeserving people.

Those abusing inputs will be reported to the police and farmers who sell inputs will be blacklisted and barred from benefiting from any future Government programmes.

“There is a contract form designed by a legal team which farmers will be compelled to sign. The form will be used by the prosecuting authority,” said Mr Tapererwa.

Beneficiaries of the programme will also be expected to send part of their harvest to the Grain Marketing Board to contribute towards national food security.

“A farmer has three plots and will be required to send a tonne from the third plot to the GMB. The farmer will be paid for the grain and farmers must agree to that condition. This is the same way being used for cotton where farmers get inputs for free and sell to Cottco,” he said.

Government is now working with the police and awareness campaigns will be carried out through the police programme on ZTV called “Crime Watch”.

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Pfumvudza is one of the concepts under the Agriculture Recovery Plan, which was being spearheaded by Government to boost food production, ensure national food security and save foreign currency that would otherwise be used to import grain.

Food production has been on a decline due to climate change and the Ministry of Agriculture has come up with an agriculture recovery plan to boost productivity.

Pfumvudza has 2,2 million households that benefit from inputs and training.

From one plot, a farmer can get between 800kg and one tonne of maize, making it two tonnes per household. A family of five people consumes a tonne of maize per year.

The family will consume one tonne while the remaining tonne will go towards national supplies, eventually being eaten after processing by people in non-maize areas and in the towns and cities.

Under Pfumvudza, farmers will not need vast tracts of land to be food sufficient. They will also be encouraged to practise crop rotation to maintain the soil productive.

HERALD