land.jpgStakeholders in the agriculture sector have received with mixed feelings the allocation of US$227 million to the sector in the 2012 National Budget, with some indicating this is too little while others are say it is a positive step in addressing some of the challenges facing farming.

Some farmers, who spoke to ZBC News, said the Minister of Finance, Mr Tendai Biti has for a long time shown reluctance in supporting agriculture on party lines.

They said the allocation is too little to finance a critical sector like agriculture, which is the backbone of the country’s economy.

However, chairman of a local farming contracting firm, Mr Nelson Mahupete said government has to be commended for coming up with the revolving fund policy aimed at ensuring that inputs are unveiled on time.

He also commended the will to revive the irrigation and restocking facilities, but however called for the availing of such funds for intended beneficiaries on time.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development has been complaining of failure to access their budget allocations on time, a situation that has delayed the accessing of subsidised inputs and the payment for farmers’ produce by the Grain Marketing Board.