joseoh made 09-11-10 ed.jpgThe Ministry of Finance has availed a further US$21 million towards seed and fertiliser inputs for the 2010/2011 summer cropping season, bringing the total government support for this year to US$51 million.

 

The funds will be channeled under the voucher system towards acquiring seed and fertilisers for small scale farmers, A1 farmers, communal farmers, the vulnerable and farmers in old resettlement areas.

 

Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made, said the US$21 million facility is meant to complement inputs initially availed by government and donors which fell short of satisfying farmer demands.

 

“We are now going to add an extra 40 000 families, bringing families being supported by government and donors to 1 million. We have agreed to speed up the process,” said Dr. Made.

 

A2 farmers are yet to receive any input support this season although the Ministry of Finance promised to avail US$54 million.

 

Dr Made said his ministry will continue to lobby treasury for assistance as good rains are anticipated for the 2010/2011 summer cropping season.

 

The meteorological department recently forecast that meaningful rains will start mid-November, with some parts of the country expected to receive heavy rains in excess of 50 millimetres.