Farmers have called upon the government as well as the financial sector to avail funding to in order to boost production and ensure food security in the country.
Farmers say the ministry of finance must avail more funds for subsidised inputs especially for strategic crops such as maize and wheat to increase food security.
Stakeholders in the financial sector have also been urged to avail long term loans in order to capacitate farmers, who have for a long time been facing sanctions induced financial constraints.
The second Vice President of the Zimbabwe Famers Union (ZFU), Mr Berean Mukwende said countries such as Malawi and Zambia have greatly improved their grain stocks due to cheap loans and subsidised inputs availed by their governments.
He said currently, the price of maize is not viable due to high production costs of inputs as compared to other countries in the region.
â€œThe prices of all inputs have risen over the past year and this is hampering the success of the agrarian reform. There is need for subsidised inputs to address the issue of food shortages, if you look at Malawi the inputs are subsidised, in Zambia, farmers can easily access loans and in South Africa there are GMOs,â€ said Mr Mukwende.
The Managing Director of Farmers World, Cde Edward Raradza said the illegal sanctions imposed on the country have caused production costs to become too high compared to the region, hence the need for financial institutions to avail long term loans to improve food security.Â
â€œWe acknowledge the increase by the Ministry of Agriculture though the amount is little. Our agricultural sector has been adversely affected by the sanctions, so there is need for financial institutions to offer credit lines. Without that, we will never have the capacity to produce adequate food,â€ Cde Raradza warned.
Last year, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made described the US$122 million allocated to his Ministry by Finance Minister Mr Tendai Biti as paltry.
No funds were set aside for the A2 farmers.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe had to intervene through the Presidential Inputs Scheme, which benefited more than half a million families.