Raw deal for farmers

BY HERBERT CHIKOSI ZIMUTO - Farmers in Zimuto, Masvingo province are up in arms against the government following the issuing of rotten and expired seed maize and sorghum, throwing into disarray the regime's last ditch attempt to push-start the agricultural sector which is teetering on the brink of t

otal collapse, The most affected are farmers from ward one and two who, with the help of GMB loans, managed to get seeds on loan, which they would pay back after selling their produce. According to an official from AREX who spoke to this reporter about 110 tonnes of seed maize and 220 tonnes sorghum were affected. The official indicated that farmers were now blaming AREX, but the problem rested with the supplier, ARDA. Asked whether the seeds where stored well the farmers indicated that they took all the necessary precautionary measures and were shellshocked to discover that the seeds went to rot. What is suspected is that ARDA just took seed from silos, painted them with chemicals and packed them and when farmers saw the paint, the best before date and certifications on the bags they were not alarmed.

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