Sunday, April 20, 2014 Local time: 18:37

News / Food and agriculture

Agriculture Ministry Not Backing Mugabe Farm Input Scheme

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Gibbs Dube
Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo says his ministry has nothing to do with President Robert Mugabe’s $20 million farming input scheme as Zimbabwe’s prime minister questions the source of funding for the program.
 
Moyo said the president’s program is independent and is not being run by the state-owned Grain Marketing Board which is currently distributing limited maize seed and other inputs to poor households.
 
Mr. Tsvangirai is quoted in the independent Newsday newspaper questioning the president’s program which he linked to diamond revenues generated from the controversial marange field in Manicaland Province.
 
Moyo said Mr. Tsvangirai’s concerns stem from indications that the inputs are only being accessed by Zanu PF supporters.
 
Zanu PF central committee member Godfrey Malaba said party leaders are free to source farming inputs for their supporters.
 
President Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba was quoted by the state-controlled media last night as saying that the inputs scheme is being financed by local and foreign donors who “threw coins into the president’s begging bowl."

Cabinet ministers are suspected to have been involved in the looting of state subsidised farming inputs last crop season that were provided by the GMB.

Vice President Joyce Mujuru in March informed President Mugabe about the abuse of the farm input scheme saying some Zanu-PF and GMB officials were believed to have 
resold the inputs including ammonium nitrate and maize seed to communal
farmers.

No action was taken by Mr. Mugabe though indications were that the Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating the issue.

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