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Forex Shortages, El Niño Spell Doom for Command Agriculture

The government has raised red flags over the impact of nostro funds on the success of Command Agriculture in the 2018/19 season saying the unavailability of foreign currency poses a threat to the procurement of agricultural equipment and inputs.

Addressing agribusiness stakeholders at the 6th Annual AgriBusiness Conference at the Zimbabwe Agriculture Show in the capital today, Deputy Chief Secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet, Justin Mpumalanga described the threats posed to the command agriculture as ‘adverse.’

“The adverse impact of nostro funds has failed virtually all the areas of command agriculture program.  The unavailability of nostro funds has negative impact on the procurement of irrigation equipment, agriculture machinery such as combine harvesters, dryers, and threshers as well as impacting again on the procurement of heifers,” said Mupamhanga.

He also revealed that the government is finding it difficult to procure chemicals and raw materials for fertilizer production among other agricultural needs forcing farmers to change time tables drastically affecting other areas of command agriculture.

“Some farmers were not keen to move into wheat this year because they could not have successfully done it, all because their maize was not yet ready for delivery to GMB,” he added.


He noted that government was glad to have established new financiers for the command agriculture program including Sakunda Holdings and Home Link whom he said had put forward $6 million towards importation of heifers from neighbouring countries.

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“Sakunda has undertaken to fund the importation of heifers from neighboring countries subject to the availability of nostro funds.

“Home link, the subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has put forward six million to assist six main rural areas in the country,” added Mupamhanga.

Meanwhile, weather experts have warned of a possibility of El Nino which have a track record of hampering both crop and livestock production.

The climate change fiasco is beginning to make its feet in the country with some previously productive areas having gone barren with erratic rainfall in most part of the regions in the country.

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