IMF doubts command agriculture scheme

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) says due to the absence of clear financing for the Command Agriculture scheme, the cost of funding it would be between $280 to $419,7 million (2% to 3%) of the gross domestic product (GDP).


The revelations came during IMF’s recently concluded Article IV consultations on the economy of Zimbabwe between the country’s authorities and IMF’s Executive board that ended last Wednesday.

While releasing the Article IV Consultations report on Friday, IMF mission chief on Zimbabwe, Ana Lucia Coronel, told reporters via satellite conferencing, Command Agriculture was not necessarily targeted to people who did not have other sources of support.

“In some of our discussions with authorities we have noted that some of this command programmes were not in the budget, so there is not enough clear financing for them and that produces a challenge. Also, they are not necessarily targeted to the people who do not have other sources of support so we are concerned increasing support to sectors from a government that is still facing a deficit in its account,” she said,

During consultations between the IMF and Zimbabwean authorities, the international body questioned the design and financing of the command agriculture programme as the commitment to buy large quantities of grain at above-market prices is not cost-efficient.

According to the IMF Article IV Consultations report, the setting up by government the buying price for the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) at $390 per tonne of maize, more than double the current world price, would significantly be above the import parity price.

The price would be above the target millers have agreed to purchase maize from the GMB.

As a result, depending on the loan recovery rates and the prevailing market prices, the cost of the command programmes for maize and wheat would likely be in the range of 2 to 3% of GDP by the end of the year.

However, IMF Zimbabwe mission economist, Joseph Thornton, said since the situation was evolving rapidly they did not have a correct position of what the total stance of command agriculture will be.

“I mean even for maize, for example, we do not know how much maize the GMB will end up purchasing so it is difficult to get a good sense of the costs, but it is clear that this is some of the major cause driving the deficit and therefore it is a source of concern in that regard,” he said.

While supporting the goal of ensuring food security was a noble idea, the IMF argued that government needed to focus on irrigation, educational programmes, and infrastructure instead of letting the private sector supply the rest.

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  1. The folly lies in buying grain at above the import parity price. It will be prudent to finance imports to fill the silos than finance growing maize at that ludicrous price. At an import parity price of $270/t compared to a maize production finance scheme at $390/t its difficult to see how the economy can be revitalised given that the money for financing this stupid scheme is chewing into the hard earned forex

    1. I respectfully disagree buying imports is essentially supporting other country’s farmers and economies (we lose out on the multiplier effect), find the reason why the imported maize is cheaper and you will find subsidies as the reason or our own overpriced supply chain or both. The state must deal with these and refrain from providing inputs directly to farmers. Instead these funds must be channelled to banks who have the necessary mechanisms to finance agriculture, the government can then subsidise the cost of borrowing. I agree with you its a stupid scheme in the sense that it is back to the funding for comrades, relatives, girlfriends etc with no prospect of repayment.

    2. Its called a subsidy. Just mention one country on earth which does not subsidize its farmers

  2. What can I MF say after failing to cause revolt and now we are self sufficient and have proved with the right support we can produce. White people were given long term loans and had subsidies. I am afraid should just shut up. What help did they give us?

    1. Self sufficient? Do you even live in the country or you are just a delusional chap?

  3. imperialists, what do they know about our country..

  4. Our learned Proffessor said it all when he said it is ” Command ugly culture”. He is 100% correct. How can gvt always give inputs to the so called ” new farmers” every year since 2000. Thats a vety bad culture of doing thungs thats why Prof Jonso called it ugly culture.

    1. Why did Prof Jonso join the scheme if it was that ugly

  5. sema farmers todya tese chaipa chii maeconomists ekutsoropodza chete ?

  6. varungu vailuma vega ngatilumei huyai tirime tilume

  7. vana prof jonso vari kuhukura vachiluma makangotarisa makore achipindana vamwe hee imf hee imf chi ichocho imhuka rudzi inonzi imf . vanoda kuti titenge chibage chavo chema gmo manji tarima toga vanyara mari yacho yechikwereti vanonyima futi musavavapa nzeve mvura naye isu rime kufa nechibage kkkk

  8. Follow the command money. Who’s is it?

  9. Chibaba chechokwadi

    Don’t you see citizens? The monetary gains go to the elite(read ZANU connected) farmers. Gvt is rewarding its Zanu mafias.The cost will be borne with ordinary people like you and me. Imagine 100t at double economic value

  10. Pakaipa Mudhara

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