GOVERNMENT plans to expedite the timeous and efficient distribution of inputs across the country’s provinces through the implementation of virtual distribution strategy, NewsDay can reveal.

The strategy comes at a time when the Presidential input scheme has been embroiled in corruption allegations with several officials fingered.

In 2018, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) came under fire from lawmakers and other stakeholders after it was accused of partisan distribution of Presidential farming inputs.

Earlier this year, State-run Cotton Company of Zimbabwe chief operating officer Munyaradzi Chikasha called for a probe into how farmers are utilising inputs under the Presidential input scheme.

GMB chief executive officer Edison Badarai said the strategy would not only promote efficiency but also help to boost transparency.

“As government in order to bring efficiencies and to also manage costs, we have introduced what we call virtual depot distribution strategy. Under the Presidential inputs scheme, inputs are going directly to the beneficiaries where they will be obtained from collection ward points.” he said.

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“Basically, this was done to ensure that we do not double handle the inputs where ordinarily they would come through GMB and be offloaded, reloaded again and sent to the distribution points.”

He said the government had taken various steps to ensure efficiency in the distribution of Presidential inputs.

The inputs are expected to be sent directly to collection points.

This comes more than two weeks after the Agricultural Marketing Authority registered over 2 million farmers to benefit from government input and production schemes for the 2023/24 agricultural season, ahead of the El Nino drought.

To ensure that farmers get inputs, Ama proposed to introduce farmer identity cards to be used to access both financial and production support from all value chain actors.

“Through this strategy we will ensure that farmers receive these inputs timeously and engagements have been done with nthe suppliers who are aligned and are in agreement, so we are on the roll,” the GMB boss added.

“You are also aware that the government through a Cabinet directive working on irrigating 100 000 hectares through the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, we are also implementing this depot strategy.”

He said GMB believed that they should be able to quickly distribute the inputs to enable cropping to be done on time.