Zimbabwe to maintain contract farming method

The government of Zimbabwe has announced that the concept of contract farming will continue. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Vangelis Haritatos, noted that the agricultural system has a number of advantages, more so for small farmers.

According to the Deputy Minister, the system is a viable financing and marketing solution for farmers who are unable to obtain bank financing and enter the market on their own. Farmers have access to credit to pay for production inputs. Contract farming also allows entrepreneurs to influence the production process, for example by providing inputs that increase yield. Haritatos pointed out that the agricultural sector in the country is struggling for financial injection and that the contract system is part of solving the problems.

“As a government, we need to create an enabling environment for the private sector to step in and take over the financing of the agricultural economy. If we say we are moving away from contractualization, we are actually moving backwards. We need to further promote contractualisation. The returns that have to come are related to productivity and production, so what we are saying is that the cost of producing crops is not relative to the inputs that the person has received,” Haritatos said.

He continued, “On a normal package, whether it’s from a contractor or whether it’s the farmer buying himself, or whether it’s a presidential input program, what we expect from the ministry of Agriculture, whether it is PIP or self-financing, it is a certain tonnage”. . With contract farming, the buyer is almost always required to provide some level of production support, such as providing technical advice and delivering materials.

These agreements are based on the farmer’s commitment to supply a certain product in the quantities and according to the quality standards specified by the buyer, and on the company’s commitment to support the farmer’s production and to buy the product. In Zimbabwe, this has generally taken the form of agricultural input support from approved private lenders through ongoing government agricultural programs.

“The rains are not yet a threat; it is the rains that announce heavier rains. What we say to all of our farmers is to start harvesting that wheat. What we’ve seen across the country is that most of the wheat, a high percentage of our wheat, is ready to harvest. Let’s get out our combines,” Haritatos said.

About Keneth T. Graves

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