zim maize22.jpgFarmers have attributed the success of this year’s agricultural season to the Presidential Well-wishers Agricultural Input Scheme as well as the government’s reforms on contract  farming.

The saying ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ can be exemplified with Zimbabwe’s land reform which seem to be growing by the passing of each agricultural season.

This season, Zimbabwe is expected to surpass the country’s food requirements of 1,7 million tonnes of maize, after farmers have planted 660 000 hectors of maize  up from the 530 000 hectors that produced an estimated 1,3 tones last season.

Farmers who spoke to ZBC News have largely attributed the recent uptake of the land and usage to the Presidential  programme  as well as the recent reforms made by the government in contract farming that have created confidence amongst farmers and contractors.

A local leading farming contractor, Mr Nelson Mahupete, said the current reforms by the government that have seen the birth of Agriculture Marketing Authority, has boosted business confidence between farmers and contractors.

Mr  Mahupete however, raised complaints about the difficulties contractors usually face in accessing farming input loans at banks saying,  a framework to relax the current stringent collateral agreements has to be set as a way of improving agricultural production in the country.

Some farmers who previously complained of being short-changed by contractors,  confirmed how the new reforms have changed their perception on contract farming, leading to their current success and confidence in doing business.

With the Finance Minister, Tendai Biti’s budget having failed to cater for A2 farmers, the Presidential Well- wishers Input Scheme and contract farming has remained the pillar of hope for most farmers.