Rain is here, but where are seeds, fertilizer?

HARARE - Agricultural expert, Renson Gasela, who is an executive member of the MDC (Mutambara), says the Zanu (PF) regime has already set the scene for another disastrous agricultural season.

Desperate to grow something to eat, women work the land

Gasela, the former head of the Grain Marketing Board during the years of productivity and food sufficiency in the country, said the prevailing situation, characterized by lack of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, made all the boasting by the regime about pouring huge amounts of funds into agriculture hollow.
“The regime has already predetermined another disastrous season. Agriculture requires planning, and that is critically lacking in the manner Zanu (PF) is doing things,” he said. “Farmers should come back with truckloads of seeds and fertilizers from their delivery of produce and be able to wait for the rains with everything in place. Now there are no seeds and fertilizers in the country, and that spells disaster.  You cannot expect miracles in agriculture.”
Rains are currently pounding large parts of the country, giving some ray of hope to the troubled Zimbabweans, the majority who survive out of tilling the land. However, a glaring lack of seeds and fertilizers across the whole country puts a damper on the hopes for coming out of the quagmire of food shortages. The stubborn Mugabe regime remains in denial mode and keeps talking of seeds and fertilizer imports coming soon.
“We expect the situation to improve soon,” agriculture minister Rugare Gumbo said recently.
Violent land grabs and cronyism in the distribution of land destroyed the seed producing sector of the farming community that had developed into a pride of Southern Africa. In addition to that, sustained practice of warped economic policies by Mugabe and his regime caused fertilizer manufacturers to wilt and collapse mainly due to lack of foreign currency.  Successive years of falling agricultural output have condemned the people to poverty and hunger with cases of malnutrition increasing across the whole country. – Itai Dzamara

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