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    Sunday, 6 August 2017

    Mnangagwa stops confiscation of cotton from Chiredzi farmers


    CHIREDZI – Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that farmers are not supposed to pay back inputs they get under the Presidential Agric Inputs Scheme thereby effectively stopping members of the President's office and the Police who are allegedly going around coercing Chiredzi farmers to deliver their harvest to the State controlled Cottco.
    Cottco and ETG Parrogate which are the main cotton buyers are reportedly fighting each other over cotton deliveries from farmers. Sources alleged that State security agents from the President's Office and the Police were intimidating farmers to deliver their cotton to Cottco so that Government can deduct what is owed by the farmers through the Presidential Input Scheme.
    Mnangagwa said the Presidential Input Scheme is different from the Command Agriculture Scheme in that the former gives free inputs while in the latter inputs are paid for.
     Responding to questions from the floor during a constitutional advocacy meeting at Palm Tree Place last Thursday, Mnangagwa said inputs under the presidential scheme which the government supported at a cost of $30m this season should not be paid. He said the program was meant to eradicate hunger in the country so it was the right of every family to access the inputs.
    "There are concerns regarding the Presidential input scheme but let me clarify it. There is a difference between the Presidential Scheme and Command Agriculture and laws that govern them cannot be harmonized. The Presidential scheme is for free and not recoverable. Government supported the program with $30m as a way of reducing hunger. In Command Agric a farmer should pay back, but as for the presidential scheme no-one is asked about how he used the proceeds" said Mnangagwa.
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