Zanu PF’s command agriculture will not work

This Zanu PF government has no idea of the voluntary nature of enterprise and the freedom of individuals to make choices.

PDP spokesman, Jacob Mafume

PDP spokesman, Jacob Mafume

It believes that everything is by force and force only.

The recent announcement by government on the $500 million command agricultural programme where it aims to produce two million tonnes of maize from 400 000 hectares of land, is indicative of this.

The government wants to force farmers to plant maize as a response to the challenge of food shortages in the country.

This is similar to the belief that you can control human behaviour as it did in the Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 (SI64) when the government banned the importation of certain products in a bid to control the huge import bill.

However, SI64 has proved to be a disaster and is not working.
Equally, command agriculture will not work.

Command agriculture was at the centre of collective farms that were led by the Russians during the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.  It has also been used by various authoritarian regimes including China, Hungary, North Korea and Czechoslovakia.  In all these countries, it never worked.

That command agriculture is the brain child of Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa is proof that the government has no brains at all it is thus incapable of thinking. Mnangagwa has failed to explain where the bankrupt government that is failing to pay civil servants will get the money to fund the programme.

The behaviour of farmers is dictated by market conditions.

Prevailing market conditions in Zimbabwe are not conducive to any form of business including agriculture.

The high cost of finance, the interest rates of over 25%, high electricity and erratic supplies, poor infrastructure and poor rain seasons are factors are factors that farmers take into account.

With the rate of non-payment of delivered maize to Grain Marketing Board (GMB), farmers are not happy with the experience of delivering their maize to the corrupt parastatal.

This is why most farmers have gone into cash crops including tobacco, barley, wheat and livestock, products which the government has no control over.

To address food shortages, the government must give farmers land leases, which will allow them to borrow money from banks and let the farmers have freedom to control their land and agricultural activities.

As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we support good farming governance.  Command agriculture is not.

Once again we restate that this government has failed and should resign as a matter of urgency.

Another Zimbabwe is Possible!!!

Jacob Mafume

National Spokesperson

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