The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri has said command agriculture inputs are available for everyone and farmers with non-performing loans should approach their banks to apply.
The Minister indicated that farmers will get free agricultural inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme while they had to apply via their banks for the command agriculture programme.
“The distribution of inputs is in full swing, I have launched the Presidential Inputs Scheme in Marymount, Chimhanda, Mkosa and others, these are free inputs. But on command there are farmers with debts with banks, we are saying they qualify to apply and use command agriculture to negotiate for stop order payment plan when they sell their crop at Grain Marketing Board, explains minister Shiri,’’ said minister Shiri.
The target by government is to ensure all productive farmers get inputs to cover 1.5 million hectares and produce at least three tonnes per hectare Minister Shiri said.
“If we achieve three tonnes average per hectare, then we are anticipating at 4.5 million tonnes which will be milestone achieve towards enhancing food security.’’
Government has this year taken a different approach for the command agriculture programme as farmers will approach selected banks, apply and access inputs under loans guaranteed by government.