By Ndafadza Madanha
GOVERNMENT will not rush to introduce the command mining programme until it has structured a model that will ensure its viability and success.
Speaking in Bulawayo recently Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said talk of the command mining concept was still a discussion contrary to claims that government was on the verge of introducing it structured along the command agriculture model.
“No guarantee of the roll out we still are still discussing and we shall be meeting with the responsible ministries to see how small scale miners can benefit and until we have a model that can work we cannot roll out command mining,” said Mnangagwa.
Mining is a major contributor to the country’s foreign exchange earnings and is expected to grow by 1 percent this year.
“Against the background of depressed commodity earnings, coupled with marginal output gains from minerals such as gold and chrome, the budget projects a modest mining growth of 0.9% in 2017,” said Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in his budget statement.
Turning to the agriculture sector the VP said the government had marshaled funds to buy 1.3 million metric tonnes and other funds would be secured shortly.
He said participants of both the Presidential input Scheme and Command Agriculture will receive their inputs by August this year to ensure that they commence planting on time.
“The Presidential and Command Agriculture scheme will guarantee feed stock for agro processing linkages. For the winter wheat crop we want to ensure farmers are paid on time as government already has funds to cover 1.3 million metric tonnes. The command agriculture programme will be extended to livestock, wheat cotton and soya beans.”
The VP said government was also working on ensuring that all water bodies are utilized for irrigation to further enhance food security.