Command agriculture has been criticised after the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture told a parliamentary committee that the department responsible for farming had no paper trail relating to the nearly US$3 billion allocated to the program.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has since then opened an investigation into possible abuse of funds into the scheme.
Despite such developments into the scheme, President Emmerson Mnangangwa revealed that ZWL$968 million has been set aside to augument the ZWL$ 2,8 billion put forward by banks and the private sector to support the Command Agriculture Program.
The country leader speaking during State Of the Nation Address (SONA) only those with a proven track record of delivering to GMB (Grain Marketing Board) and repaying their loans will be supported under the Command Agriculture Programme.
“A $60 million facility has been set aside for the rehabilitation of machinery under the Command Agriculture Programme,” the President said.
“US$ 51 million has been allocated for the supply of various agricultural machinery from John Deere, some of which, are already being delivered.”
Besides Command Agriculture, the government set aside ZWL$1,8 billion towards the production of strategic crops, such as maize, soya beans and cotton.
“Of this amount, (ZWL$1,8 billion) ZWL$ 567, 4 million has been allocated for the provision of inputs for vulnerable households and ZWL$332 million to ensure the procurement of inputs for cotton production,” the President said.
“In addition, Government is scaling up its support to the sector through duty exemptions on raw materials and capital equipment, tax breaks and holidays for priority projects and other import management measures.”
“This thrust is anchored on the implementation of the recently adopted Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy and Local Content Strategy.”
Command Agriculture Programme was introduced to ensure food security in Zimbabwe.
The scheme has however been criticised of being partisan