Take Heed Minister!

Over the weekend I traveled to my rural home and on arrival was told that all the adults had gone to the community centre to receive fertilisers. This was good news in the sense that preparations for the 2012/2013 season are now underway ahead of time for once. I recall that the government inputs for the 2011/2012 season never got to the people in spite of the fact that several truck loads were delivered to the GMB. There were so many news stories that government was ready and farmers would receive inputs on time. Everything seemed organized on paper, and the President even praised the Finance Minister.

Come October, there were no inputs at GMB and when they did finally come Mid November most of the A1 farmers cried foul. They would spend days queuing at GMB with stories every day that GMB officials were ‘working on the logistics’. And when the ‘logistics’ were finally worked out, each A1 farmer received one bag of Compound D, one bag Ammonium Nitrate and 25kg maize seed and it had the picture of the President, suggesting this was a Presidential project. Your Officials Cde Minister took truckloads of inputs for themselves and they were sold on the black market at $35 per bag. You must deal with them because they are the real culprits who want to effect a regime change in the country by threatening the food security situation.

Photo accredited to: http://www.fao.org/emergencies/country_information/list/africa/zimbabwe/en/

But I still have queries about the inputs that were being given over the weekend. Would it be that these inputs were meant for the winter crop which is now late again? I guess the country has to suffer again by importing wheat because of bungling in the Ministry. But at least the product is usable later in October/November. So please can  you advise the Finance Minister  that your Ministry will not meet the target so that he can start looking for the money to import wheat for later in the year.

My advice to you is that this blame game of accusing the finance Minister for not putting adequate resources in the Ministry of Agriculture must stop forthwith if you want to be taken seriously. Resources will never be enough as there are other competing ministries such as Education and Health who will probably say they need more. So let us take stock of what we have received, little as it were, and let’s see if they have been channeled to the right people. If a proper audit is done, you may be surprised that you got more than you deserved.

Sometimes we just need to be serious Cde Minister if the nation has to address the food security situation. You know very well that supporting the A1 farmers is key to addressing this. If each family is able to meet its demand for the whole year, then we will have addressed many problems. Malawi is there for all of us to learn from. I understand, many of the times we have to portray government projects as party projects in order to be popular with the electorate. If for example every family is given sufficient inputs for one hectare, it will be the right thing. That guarantees food for that family. But the current situation, where every small holder gets 2 bags of fertiliser is a joke and you know it.

Since there has been talk about having elections to end the Inclusive Government, I hope these inputs are not being given to people to induce them to vote for you in a bid to regain the constituency seat you lost to MDC’s Weber Chinyadza or the ZANU PF Presidential candidate. You used the same strategy without success, so people are now smarter. All they need is a candidate who will genuinely represent them and work with them to address their problems. And unfortunately the messes your officials in the Ministry and GMB are conducting themselves do not suggest capability at all.

I however wish you luck and hopefully you can rescue the situation. People are talking!!!!!!!!!


One thought on “Take Heed Minister!

  1. This discussion is not even in the right ball park. Smallholder agriculture is not sustainable if it is dependent on government handout of inputs. This is the responsibility of the farmer. The role of government is to provide the public infrastructure (e.g. roads and communications) to facilitate production. As you rightly point out, the more that is spent on costly and wasted subsidies the less there is for education, health and … infrastructure.

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