farmers sign up for SeedCo prepayment plan
SEEDCO has recorded an increase in prepayments for its seed, a development that shows better planning by farmers in procuring inputs.
The company’s managing director, Danias Zaranyika, said: “I am pleased that an increasing number of farmers are getting into prepayment arrangements for seed with SeedCo, a sign that they are heeding our call to procure inputs early.”
Speaking at a SeedCo-hosted field day at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Pricabe Farm in Kwekwe last week, Zaranyika said SeedCo encourages farmers to procure inputs early, adding that the prepayment arrangements helped them to better organise their inputs procurement to avoid a last minute rush.
“We encourage farmers to start procuring inputs as early as possible and continue until you meet all your requirements. It will be best to do so before the start of the season. These arrangements help farmers avoid a situation where they have to fork out large sums of money in a single instance, or a situation where the rains come before the farmer has procured seed,” he said.
Challenges with procurement of inputs have plagued local farmers for a long time, with the growers citing this as one of the major hindrances to productivity in the southern African nation’s anchor sector.
A farmer, Enock Moyo highlighted the issue at a field day held at his farm in Mutorashanga a fortnight ago. “As farmers, our biggest challenge has been access to mechanisation and procurement of inputs. There is need for the authorities to come up with systems that will ensure timely distribution of farming inputs,” he said.
Following the 2000 fast-track the land reform programme, which reset the country’s agricultural landscape, government has been struggling to improve the administration of the sector as persistent challenges continue to afflict farmers in procuring inputs.
In an effort to address the challenges, government introduced the Command Agriculture programme during the 2016/17 farming season. The programme has, however, also not entirely produced the required results as farmers continue to express discontent over the distribution of inputs.