made horticulture.jpgGovernment says it will introduce new measures to control the importation of horticultural products in a move aimed at protecting local producers. 

 

Given the fact that local horticultural producers have raised concern on the importation of horticultural products, government has intervened by considering a policy that seeks to curb the influx of external commodities.

Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr. Joseph Made confirmed in Arcturus, during a tour of a farm owned by Cde Paddington Zhanda that government will only grant import permits for the commodities when there is a shortage.

 
`We are working on strategies to promote both the small  and large scale farmers, we believe that they have the potential to produce, so we will be introducing mechanisms that will ensure that no individuals will be given import permits unless the country has a shortage of the commodity,” said Dr. Made.

 

Cde Zhanda, who is also a Member of the House of Assembly for Goromonzi North, said it is high time local banks reviewed their lending system to the farming community from the current short- term facilities to long-term loans at affordable interest rates.

“The current loans from the financial sector are too prohibitive to the local farmers as compared to the regional and international, thereby making it difficult for the bulk of farmers to purchase and pay their loans. This is adversely affecting the goal and the objectives of the land reform program,” noted Cde. Zhanda.

The field day was held at a time when government is forging ahead with the land reform program meant to empower the black majority and restore agriculture production, which for the past decade has been affected by the illegal and unjustified sanctions imposed on the country by the United State and its Western allies.