Source: Economy hogs limelight at Politburo | The Herald June 15, 2017
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
THE 309th Ordinary Session of the Zanu-PF Politburo met in Harare yesterday and deliberated on various key issues focusing on the state of the economy and the party. Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo told journalists after the meeting that the Kasukuwere report that was compiled by a team that visited Mashonaland Central Province in April was “not discussed’’.
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He said Cde Joseph Made, in his capacity as Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, gave a comprehensive report on the state of agriculture in the country.
“Cde Joseph Made in his capacity as the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development gave a comprehensive update on the state of agriculture in the country encompassing crop and livestock assessment for the 2016-17 season,” he said.
“Maize production is estimated at 2 155 526 tonnes from a total planted area of 1 875 279 hectares, cereal production, that is maize and small grains, is 2 443 119 tonnes against a cereal requirement of 1 547 376 tonnes for human consumption. Tobacco production is estimated at 206,212 million kg compared to 201,261 million kg in 2015-16 season. Cotton production is estimated at 126,995 million kg compared to 32,885 million kg in 2015-16 season. Soyabean is estimated at 357 744 tonnes compared to 47 832 tonness in 2015-16 season.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said Command Wheat was underway and Government was targeting 65 000 hectares.
He said the country also experienced floods in some parts and 162 cattle, 331 goats, 20 donkeys 1 024 chickens died because of flooding.
Cde Khaya Moyo said the cattle herd had decreased but efforts were being made to boost it.
“Diseases associated with heavy rains were also a major challenge this season,” he said.
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“These included lumpy skin and foot rot and tick-borne diseases. Cde Walter Chidhakwa, in his capacity as Minister of Mines and Mining Development, gave a comprehensive report on the state of mining in the country covering gold, platinum, diamonds and nickel among others.
“He highlighted the performance of major mineral commodities and also highlighted the challenges.
“The challenges facing the mining sector included liquidity constraints and logistics citing the high inland cost of moving bulk materials which made Zimbabwe’s minerals uncompetitive on international markets.
“Despite these challenges, the mining sector remained one of the mainstays of the economy.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga gave a report on the recent Presidential Youth Interface Rally held in Marondera adding that the next such meeting would be held tomorrow in Mutare.
He said National Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere presented a report with emphasis mainly on the recent by-elections won by Zanu-PF candidates.
“Restructuring of the party continues in all provinces,” he said.
“The party continues to grow from strength to strength.”
Asked to shed light on the Kasukuwere report, Cde Khaya Moyo said: “No, this was not discussed.”
Yesterday’s meeting was held under maximum security as all members were asked to leave their mobile phones outside and had to go through body scanners machines.
Cde Khaya Moyo refused to explain why such maximum security measures were taken, referring reporters’ questions to Secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo who could not be reached for comment.