The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa last night during a post-Cabinet briefing said government will pay its dues.Minister Mutsvangwa said government earmarked $4 billion under Presidential Inputs Scheme for grain production while it will pay directly, outstanding cotton proceeds delivered by farmers to Cottco among a cocktail of measures being taken to enhance performance of the agriculture sector.
Equity by Government in Cottco and Silo Foods Industry will also be raised to 51 and 74 percent respectively as the country moves towards attaining an upper middle class economy by 2030 through implementation the economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“Currently, Government is financing several programmes in the agriculture sector including farm mechanisation, inputs and selling price support.
“Crops under such support include maize, soya beans, cotton and wheat. Government targets to provide input support for the vulnerable households to the tune of $4 billion for grain production under the Presidential Inputs Scheme, while banks provided funding for the Command Agriculture programme for the 2020/2021 farming season,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said Cabinet noted with concern, failure to pay farmers for cotton delivered to Cottco last season as a new marketing season commenced last week.
“Cabinet noted with concern the continued failure to pay farmers for cotton delivered to Cottco and has decided to institute measures to increase its shareholding in Cottco to at least 51 percent in tandem with its contribution in the company and apparent support to farmers and the need to spur rural industrialisation. To this effect, Government will be paying farmers directly,” she said.