UMDC official challenges government

An official of the United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC) has challenged the government to distribute farming inputs at subsidised prices so poor rural farmers could have access to these, which will ensure food security in the country.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Pilate Ndebele, the Matabeleland South chairman of the Welshman Ncube led MDC, said the government must ensure the improvement of food security in the country by providing farming inputs at affordable prices and avoid distributing inputs on partisan basis.

His remarks come in the wake of accusations that Zanu PF that officials were distributing food and farming inputs on party lines.

“Inputs must be distributed at subsidised prices so every farmer may afford them,” Ndebele said.

“The inputs must not just benefit party members (Zanu PF) alone, they must not be distributed on partisan lines.

“Hunger is not affecting only those in the party, everyone is affected.”

He also accused the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) for delaying in paying farmers who would have delivered their farm produce to their depots.

“One takes his or her maize produce to the GMB say in August this year and will only get paid in April the following year,” Ndebele lamented.

“That is not feasible and that is why most farmers are no longer interested in dealing with the GMB.

“Most farmers now see it better to sell their produce to individual members of their communities where they get quick returns at reasonable prices.”

He challenged the parastatal to speed up its payments for the farmers, who would have delivered their produce to it, so as to encourage them to always send their produce to the GMB.

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