By Silindzelwe Nxumalo
THE Ministry of Agriculture has encouraged farmers to start farming as soon as possible and capitalize on the ongoing rainfall in the country.
The Ministry’s Principal Secretary Sydney Simelane said it was important that the farmers utilize these rainfalls because the future is unknown, so they may not know how long these rains would last.
“The earlier they start farming the better for them and the whole nation at large,” he said.
Simelane also encouraged the farmers to utilize part of the input subsidy programme which allows farmers to pay for government tractors which they will when ploughing.
“We are noticing that the payment for this service is quite slow. We are very concerned about it as it is not as fast as the way farmers paid for the input subsidy,” he said.
The PS stated that as a ministry they would like to plead with the farmers to utilize this program more especially now since the farms are wet due to the current rainfall. “Tractors are there, and they have been made available for farmers. Farmers can stand up and utilize them,” he said.
He added that they had also noted that in the farming input shops where farmers are meant to collect their farming input, farmers are slow in fetching their inputs.
He stated that they were not coming at the speed they expected them to which should be encouraged by the rainfalls.
“We would like to encourage and plead with emaSwati for them to go and fetch for what they paid for, so they start farming soon,” he said.
The PS further thanked them for showing interest in the input subsidy programme stating that they came out in numbers which meant that a lot of emaSwati were benefiting from this program.
“This has been very encouraging because this means that even when the anticipated El Nino comes it will find that farmers have already gone to their farms,” he said.