The forthcoming agricultural season looks disastrous as some farmers are failing to access agricultural inputs while the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) appears to have scaled down its free seed and fertilizer scheme owing to the massive abuse of the program last year by some politicians and farmers aligned to Zanu PF.
While the government insists that agricultural inputs will be readily available this year, observers said communal farmers are set to struggle to get maize seed, fertilizer and loans as they owe the banking sector over $90 million.
On the other hand, indications are that the GMB is failing to raise over $22 million for rolling out its perennial seed and fertilizer input scheme.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo told VOA Studio 7 despite these drawbacks preparations for the forthcoming crop season are in full swing.
“We hope that farmers will access the required inputs though there are some challenges in some areas,” said Moyo.
Commercial farmer Themba Dlodlo of Mbangazitha Farm in Matabeleland South Province said poor planning will have a devastating effect on the next crop season.
Politicians linked to President Robert Mugabe's party, who abused the state-sponsored GMB agricultural inputs last season, have not yet been punished.
Zimbabwe ran out of fertilizer and seed at the onset of the rain season when the politicians descended on the GMB and grabbed all the inputs for resale.