By Anna Chibamu
ZANU PF legislator for Magunje has taken Lands Minister Anxious Masuka over the continued abuse and mismanagement of farm inputs distributed to local farmers under government schemes.
Speaking in parliament this past week, Kashiri urged the minister to provide an audited list of beneficiaries under government’s farming schemes such as Command Agriculture.
There are suspicions some of the beneficiaries were corrupt middlemen riding on poor monitoring by authorities to siphon funds from the scheme.
The MP said a lot of fertiliser sourced under the auspices of government’s farm input schemes was being diverted onto the streets for quick money while the rightful beneficiaries suffered.
The shenanigans, coupled with poor agricultural policies, corruption and other climate mishaps, is linked to perennial poor yields the country has experienced over the recent past years.
Said Kashiri, “This has been an illicit exercise that has been going on.
“What measures have you put in place to make sure that farmers who get fertiliser are the actual farmers and not middlemen who get fertiliser for onward selling?”
In his response, Minister Masuka said to curb such abuses, every farmer was now being compelled to sign contract forms for acceptance of inputs and their intended purpose.
“We have widened supervision of inputs where for Command scheme, selection is done by CBZ bank and Agro Yield who sign the contracts,” said the minister.
He added that the National Land Inspectorate comprising of security departments has also been activated to minimise input abuse.