Zanu MP disputes bumper harvest claim

Agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation development minister Joseph Made should prove that Zimbabwe will have a bumper harvest this year, Zanu (PF) Mashonaland West chair Temba Mliswa told Parliament recently.

Was Minister Made lying when he raised hopes of a bumper harvest, asks MP Temba Mliswa.
Was Minister Made lying when he raised hopes of a bumper harvest, asks MP Temba Mliswa.

Reacting to media reports that quoted Made as upbeat about the 2013-2014 harvest, Mliswa said, given the lack of funding for A2 farmers and low quantities of inputs given farmers, it would be difficult to foresee a bumper harvest. Mliswa asked for the formula used by Made to make the assessment.

He said his constituency received seed for just 90,000 hectares, Compound D fertiliser for 40,000 hectares and AN fertiliser for 20,000 hectares.

“Was Made lying about the national bumper harvest?” Mliswa asked, drawing support from some members of the National Assembly.

Responding to the question in the absence of Made, deputy minister for agriculture Paddy Zhanda admitted that government had done no physical field assessment to evaluate the harvest.

“We will carry out the harvest assessment on the ground by end of April to find the true position,” Zhanda said.

Zhanda indicated that quantities of inputs and the rain pattern could be used to assess the harvest.

He expressed hope that this year’s harvest would be better.

According to Zhanda, Zimbabwe needed an average three million tonnes of maize to feed itself a year.

The minister was upbeat about what he called a bumper harvest “since farmers had put 2.2m hectares of land under cereal crops, with staple maize taking up the bigger portion of the hectarage”.

Made was reportedly confident that this year’s harvest would provide the country with the food it needed.

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