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Fuel released for Pfumvudza inputs transporters

by Straff Reporter
19 Nov 2021 at 08:19hrs | Views
Pfumvudza inputs can now be moved rapidly from GMB depots to collection points after the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development last week received 250 000 litres of diesel from Government to fuel the delivery trucks.

GMB trucks have also been dispatched to assist contracted private transporters with the movement of the inputs.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Anxious Masuka gave the assurances in the question session in Parliament on Wednesday after some legislators had queried why transporters were refusing to ferry inputs and complained that the charges paid by the GMB were not viable.

Minister Masuka said Government wanted inputs delivered to farmers early as the rainfall season had almost begun. While the fees paid for transport were in Zimbabwe dollars and included money for fuel, transporters were complaining that fuel paid in local currency was not available.

"We have responded by availing 250 000 litres to GMB to avail to transporters, which amount will be deductible from the total that is payable to the transporter.

"Last week, we were given 250 000 litres of diesel to avail to transporters so that they can move their inputs expeditiously. In cases where there is still insistence that the transporter is unwilling to move these, we have sent GMB trucks to assist so that no farmer pays for the transport," he said.

Minister Masuka said Government had taken the stance that the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme was a Presidential Input scheme available to 2,3 million households, 1,8 million rural households and the balance peri-urban and in the scheme Government was going to provide transport from GMB depots to the wards.

"There are challenges in some wards and these are an exception. In some instances, we have also noted that there is connivance between the transporter, GMB, Agritex and the councillor, where they get $2 to $4 per villager and then they give this to the transporter. The transporter is perhaps given $600 and the balance is shared.

"So that used to happen in the past and we want all inputs to be distributed by GMB," he said.

Minister Masuka also clarified the requirement that a farmer had to have completed land preparation to be eligible for inputs.

Some legislators had asked if old people who could not dig the holes would also benefit from the programme. Minister Masuka said the Pfumvudza/Intwasa was leaving no one behind.

"From a policy perspective, we climate-proof agriculture to ensure household food security. In doing this, we have said no one and no place will be left behind. "No household, no village will be left behind. The pre-requisite of accessing these inputs is that you have done one up to five plots and you are given inputs that are commensurate with the number of plots you have done. Not to do a plot is also electing not to get inputs.

"However, there are orphaned, child-headed families, the elderly, those you have mentioned, they will get inputs when the inputs for that particular area are distributed, whether they have done plots or not," he said.

Minister Masuka said the local leadership and the public should help the most vulnerable. Pfumvudza is a concept aimed at climate-proofing agriculture by adopting conservation farming techniques.

Source - Herald