By Joyce Mukucha
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has stated that Government programmes towards agriculture were positively contributing to the sectors’growth emphasising that the Second Republic was committed to continue implimenting timely programmes aimed at immensely benefitting the division.
He made these remarks during his State of the Nation Address yesterday explaining that the focus of the multi-pronged programmes now seeks to increase rural per capita incomes while also improving household food security and nutrition.
He underscored that the increased number of young people undertaking thriving farming businesses throughout the country was commendable.
“This new crop of young farmers assure us that the land which we fought for, will remain in safe hands, for posterity.”
Climate change, highlighted, has devastating effects on the agriculture sector stressing that it was of paramount importance to come up with adaptation mechanisms aimed at reducing the impacts.
“We are recognising the far reaching impacts of climate change and the need to build resilience while ensuring adaption remain essential.”
Urging farmers to prepare for the 2021/2022 agriculture season, the President indicated that the Second Republic has increased the Strategic Grain Reserve to 1.5 million tons.
“In addition, my Government is consistently availing adequate resources to expedite payments to our farmers for crop deliveries. This Strategy is envisaged to guarantee enhanced productivity and profitability of farm operations along the “farming as a business” philosophy. I once again exhort all farmers to ensure the timely preparation for the 2021/2022 agriculture season.”
This year, he stated, the cumulative tobacco sales exceeded 210.9 million kg, with export earnings surpassed US$589,6 million whilst cotton production also increased by 100% to 92 000 tons. Investments to facilitate the value addition of these strategic crops are being sought.
Concerning livestock management, he said government was deeply worried by challenges faced by farmers which include diseases resulting in livestock deaths indicating that distribution of vaccination doses has commenced.
“With regards to livestock, we are gravely concerned with losses incurred by farmers due to the menace of livestock diseases. The distribution of tick-grease and locally produced January Disease vaccine doses, has begun.”
He further highlighted that farm mechanisation and agriculture modernisation continue to be high on the priority list of the Second Republic with the District Development Fund and other agencies assisting with the tillage programme for various categories of farmers.
“To augment the current number of mechanical farming implements available nationally, various bilateral schemes will inject an additional 3 000 tractor units and over 200 combine harvesters,”added Mnangagwa.
By Joyce Mukucha