IN view of the shortage of maize seed and the exorbitant prices the scanty supplies are sold at, I ask the government to produce its own on its farms if Zimbabwe is to retain its position as the bread basket of Africa.
As I am writing, many farmers – especially the peasant community where I belong, have no maize seed. Where it is available, the price is beyond the reach of many.
Another sore point is the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) levy of 1% deducted by the Grain Marketing Board and remitted to Harare where the ZFU has offices for tea drinking.
I source my farming inputs at a great cost, sweat in the blistering heat and do not get any assistance from the ZFU. They cannot even establish depots at convenient places so that farmers can save on transport. So what is the levy for?
I am yet to hear of any peasant who accessed a loan through the ZFU. The organisation should exist but not at the expense of peasant farmers in communal lands. Authorities in the Agriculture ministry should come to the rescue of the peasant farmers and rid us of this iniquitous levy.