AGRICULTURE minister Joseph Made doesn’t cease to amaze me.
The week gone by, he urged farmers to use natural manure instead of waiting for human-made organ
ic fertilisers. Although Made didn’t specify which natural manure he meant, I’m tempted to believe he meant cow dung.
As Minister of Agriculture, I’m sure Made needs no reminding that Zimbabwe’s cattle herd has diminished over the years that even if we were to rear cattle for the sole purpose of providing cow dung for purposes of manure, all the cattle in Zimbabwe today wouldn’t provide enough for agricultural purposes in Shamva or Mwenezi alone, or even the peri-urban fields in Mbare.
That Zimbabwe’s national herd has diminished is in no doubt as evidenced by the price of meat in butcheries and President Mugabe’s assertions that cattle rustlers should get minimum jail terms of nine years.
Moreso, as Made was at the recent Zanu PF conference in Umzingwane, he needs no reminding that they killed 147 natural manure-providing animals in three days, further diminishing the depleted herd.
Could it be that Made’s utterance was some kind of Fools’ Day prank made in December!
He is Minister of Agriculture but seems to lack vital information about his ministry’s responsibilities.
Remember two years ago he went on a tour of the country aboard a helicopter assessing the food situation only to declare that Zimbabwe had adequate food supplies judging from the crops he had seen.
Even President Mugabe infamously told Sky TV that we weren’t a hungry nation and had enough food awaiting harvesting. Not enough grain was produced because Made on his joyride saw vast forests instead of crops hence the wrong results.
Can the minister tell the nation why fertiliser is in short supply? I hope he will not consult his boss because the answer will end up having something to do with United States president George Bush and UK premier Tony Blair. Made is still minister because performance never matters to baba vaChatunga but loyalty.