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At least 24 local firms are set to benefit immensely from the 2017-2018 Command Agriculture Programme through the supply of agricultural inputs for the summer cropping season.

Contracts have already been concluded with financiers of this year’s Command Agricultural Programme, which is going to push production upwards.

According to the signed contracts gleaned by this news crew, seven seed manufacturing firms will supply 37 000 tonnes of seed, 30 000 tonnes of which is maize seed, 1 000 tonnes sorghum and 6 000 tonnes soya beans.

Three firms will benefit from the US$80 million for the supply of chemicals, while five companies will supply of 515 000 tonnes of fertilisers.

259 000 tonnes of top dressing fertilisers and 246 000 tonnes of compound fertilisers are set to be delivered this season.

Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association Vice Chairman Mr Amon Mwashaireni said the programme has boosted production capacity with first deliveries of inputs expected next month.

According to documents, four other firms will benefit through the supply of 100 000 tonnes of lime, with the financier, Sakunda Holdings expected to avail 15 million litres of diesel for the cropping season.

Sources say negotiations between Sakunda Holdings and National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) are at an advanced stage for the movement of this season’s agricultural inputs.

Sakunda Holdings has set aside US$13 million for irrigation purposes and US$5 million is meant for the rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure.

Plans for the setting up 12 maize driers across the country are already in place.

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