‘Food security, better lives a priority’

Source: ‘Food security, better lives a priority’ | The Herald

‘Food security, better lives a priority’
Farmers in Bemhiwa Village, Marange communal lands, inspect a Pfumvudza demonstration plot. More than 1,2 million households have already prepared Pfumvudza plots and received inputs from the Government

Political Editor

ERADICATING poverty remains a key priority of Government’s overall policy objective with the country implementing strategies to ensure that people are food secure and live better, President Mnangagwa has said.

In his congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the International Seminar on Poverty Eradication and Responsibility of Political Parties held virtually in the Chinese province of Fujian on Tuesday, the President, who is also the Zanu PF First Secretary, commended China for being the first country to achieve poverty alleviation as set in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, saying Zimbabwe is on a new path towards improving the welfare of its people.

“Zimbabwe is on a new path, eradicating poverty remains at the forefront of the Government’s overall policy objective. Zimbabwe has been implementing poverty reduction strategies since 1980. Though we are faced with humanitarian challenges like other nations in the region, in our case it has been worsened by illegal sanctions, the negative impact of climate change, and currently by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. We, however, are forging ahead in making sure our people are food secure,” the President said.

To enhance food security, the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa has taken pragmatic steps to improve agricultural production and productivity, through innovative farming concepts such as the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, which will benefit at least two million households, the mechanisation and modernisation of farming as well as the provision of agricultural inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

Both the Pfumvudza and Farm Mechanisation schemes are meant to climate-proof  agricultural under the agriculture recovery plan which seeks to transform the sector into an US$8,2 billion industry by 2025.

Apart from investing in agriculture, the Second Republic has also rolled out several self-empowerment programmes as it continues to put in place measures to improve the people’s welfare.

“There is still a long way to go in promoting comprehensive development among our people. Accordingly, several ongoing projects have been put in place, such as bakeries, production, horticulture, mining and value addition, processing and packaging of millet, peanut butter, poultry piggery, soap and lotion making and many other projects.

“The party and Government continuously evaluate the successes and challenges faced at all levels. Government will continue to carry out feasibility studies for new joint projects, with the products or services per province to be carried out as commercial businesses.

“Decent job creation, underpinned by sustained economic growth and development is key for poverty eradication. Zimbabwe has increased job creation, through several projects currently running in all sectors, throughout the country. Government now has a larger percentage employed in the informal sector, with a larger percent of women,” he said.

The President said in pursuit of eradicating poverty, Government has also improved access to education across all sectors from, Early Childhood Development (ECD), primary and secondary, universities, teachers’ colleges and industrial training centres.

“Most of all the education facilities have been electrified and computerised”.

Turning to the crucial health sector, the President said the Government “has built and rehabilitated several hospitals and clinics, both in urban and rural areas”.

“To this end, new equipment has been provided and old ones refurbished. The Government is also purchasing critical and urgent medication.

“The Government, working together with Zanu PF’s department of the Disabled and Disadvantaged Persons, has put a number of initiatives in place, to support people living with disability, and the elderly, through provision of food and shelter, and in most cases providing free medical attention.

Meanwhile, the President lauded his Chinese counterpart for adopting key reform policies that have seen the Chinese Communist Party lifting over 700 million people out of poverty, a remarkable achievement that has seen the world second biggest economy being the first country to achieve the poverty alleviation goal set by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A four-member delegation, led by Zanu PF acting youth secretary Cde Tendai Chirau attended the three-day international zoom seminar on Poverty Eradication and Responsibility of Parties which aimed at improving the role played by political parties in alleviating poverty.