Saturday, January 28, 2006

Zim seed shortage

SEED Co Ltd, the country’s leading seed producer, says it expects seed production to decline further this year due to the dearth of agricultural inputs. “There will not be a drought in Zimbabwe this year but seed production will be hampered by the shortage of agricultural inputs,” Pat Devenish the chief executive of Seed Co said


GOVERNMENT has started lining up excuses to exonerate itself from yet another seemingly lost agricultural season this year.

Though the season has been marked by above normal rainfall, international organisations have forecast even more acute food deficits for Zimbabwe due to government’s tardiness in availing inputs and draught power to farmers.

The Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet) this week warned that the country would face more food shortages this year due to lack of preparedness and shortage of farm inputs such as fertiliser, fuel for draught power and seed to complement the goods rains.

“Although the agricultural season has started, shortages of fertilisers and seed maize have not been sufficiently addressed,” Fewsnet’s latest report said.

“High maize seed prices made it extremely difficult for farmers to procure the seed they needed. The government’s input support programme only started moving the inputs in November, and consequently, the majority of the farmers who benefited were likely unable to take advantage of the early rains and the full potential of the rainfall season.”

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