US$20 Million Boost For Command Agriculture
National Social Security Association (NSSA) has extended a US$20 million towards the government’s Command Program to support the production of fertilizer.
NSSA board chairman, Robin Vela, made the remarks while presenting the authority’s second quarter financial statement.
“ NSSA is committed to advancing national objectives such as food security amongst other goals. To this end, we are pleased to have been able to contribute to the Government’s Command Agriculture Program by advancing US$20 million to support the production and supply of critical basal and top dressing fertilisers.
“As such, a syndicated financing package for fertiliser producers for the 2017/18 crop was completed in this quarter,” said Vela.
The social security boss retaliated his company’s commitment in venturing into profit making ventures.
“It is NSSA’s intention to continue pursuing such structured trade transactions, which generate positive investment returns for the Authority, while also providing meaningful support for strategic national programs,”said Vela.
His comments came at time the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) has just concluded Article IV consultations on the economy of Zimbabwe between the country’s authorities and IMF’s Executive board which arrayed its fears on the Command Agriculture program’s lack of financial support.
The IMF said 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).
Article IV Consultations findings released by the , IMF mission chief on Zimbabwe, Ana Lucia Coronel, revealed that Command Agriculture did not “necessarily target 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.