GOVERNMENT has blacklisted farmers who have not fully serviced their Command Agriculture Inputs loans accessed in previous years, an official has said.
In the Midlands, the Provincial Crop and Livestock Officer, Mrs Madeline Magwenzi said they were still compiling names of those still in arrears. She said they were gathering data to determine the exact number of those still owing but said approximately 60 percent of those who received inputs were still to pay back.
“The directive we got is that those who have not paid for what they received last year or were still in arrears should not be given the inputs this year. Those in arrears have been blacklisted until they clear their dues,” she said.
Mrs Magwenzi said this year farmers will be assisted through banks but they must register through their local Agritex officers.
“This year the bank is disbursing funds for those who intend to join Command Agriculture but the farmers still have to go through their local Agritex officer in their respective districts. In the process we will be vetting the farmers and those who do not service their loans will be rejected,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Magwenzi said farmers should wait for the onset of rains to start planting.
Her remarks came amid reports that some farmers in the Midlands were already busy planting after the province received some showers last week.
“We have noticed some planting activities already taking place in most parts of the province following some showers that we received in the past week.
“What I would advise the farmers is that they should wait for the onset of rains. These showers are an indication that the onset of rains is around the corner so they should just be patient,” she said.
Weather experts have forecasted a normal rainfall season ahead but there is a possibility for normal to below normal rainfall in the first three months of next year.