MANY farmers in Zimbabwe recently expressed mixed feelings over introduction of a new Command Agriculture Programme inputs acquisition model.
The government has reportedly tightened screws around the programme, as now only beneficiaries with a proven record of repaying the loans will be able to access the inputs.
Farmers have, however, lamented the slow pace at which loans are being dispatched, saying agriculture was time sensitive and needed that loans be processed timeously if they were to reap dividends.
“The bankers must know that farming activities are time sensitive.
“We need to be geared up as soon as possible so that we will be able to fight drought,” said a farmer from Guruve.
“When we come to Harare for the vetting process, our view was that not much time would be taken doing the vetting, but we are here every day and nothing is happening, “ the farmer added.
The Zimbabwean economy is mainly agriculture-based and any lapse in that sector would spell doom for the entire nation.
Currently, Zimbabwe is under the throng of a biting drought with the country having to import grain and other basic commodities from countries such as Zambia and Tanzania.
“What they are doing is a recipe for disaster for agriculture and that can lead to civil unrest,” said the Guruve farmer.
A CBZ Bank insider revealed to Zim Morning Post that government had not yet released funds in the form of inputs vouchers to the banks that are now its new partners in Command Agriculture.