Massive boost for US$8,2bn agric economy

Source: Massive boost for US$8,2bn agric economy | The Herald

Massive boost for US$8,2bn agric economyPresident Mnangagwa hands over a trophy to National Farmers Award winner, Mr Tinashe Ziki (second from right) and his wife Pamela at the 2020 Zimlife Agricultural Merit Awards (ZAMA) at State House in Harare last night. Assisting the President is ZAMA founder Mr Israel Kembo. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Zvamaida Murwira

Senior Reporter

The National Development Strategy 1, launched this week, will pool more resources for the provision of agricultural infrastructure that will give credence to the attainment of a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy in line with Vision 2030.

This was said by President Mnangagwa last night at State House where he was guest of honour at the Zimlife Merit Awards that honoured individuals and institutions who excelled in various sectors of agriculture.

“Under the NDS1 which begins in January 2021, more resources and greater momentum will be injected towards dam construction and efficient irrigation systems. Undoubtedly, all these efforts will cumulatively see us achieve the US$8,2 billion agriculture sector economy,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said under NDS1 — a five-year Government economic blue-print launched Monday — all sectors of the economy are obliged to increase their productivity.

He urged all players in the agriculture value chains in Zimbabwe, including civil society and development partners, to realign their strategies, programmes and approach, guided by the country’s development strategy and focus.

“My administration stands ready to facilitate increased investments in the agriculture sector to build sustainable and shared prosperity which leaves no one behind,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the Pfumvudza programme leaves out no one interested in participating in farming given that it did not require draught power while Government was providing free inputs.

“We have introduced Pfumvudza, if you have no cattle, donkeys join Pfumvudza. No one is left behind. Fortunately under Pfumvudza farmers receive free inputs,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the awards ceremony was being held against a successful Transitional Stabilisation Programme, a predecessor to NDS1 which laid a solid foundation through the implementation of robust policies and establishment of institutional frameworks towards a green agriculture revolution.

“This will see us attain national food and nutrition security, create a diverse agro-processing sub-sector and has also given impetus to the growth and expansion of our export sector,” he said.

Everyone and each sector, he said, had a role to play in nation bilding and no one was more important than the other.

“Government applauds the diverse and vast contributions by other sectors towards the growth and prosperity of our nation. This culture of recognising those who excel across the various sectors at all levels must be ingrained through positive competitions and Merit Awards such as this one,” he said

Speaking at the same occasion, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga warned agriculture officers from abusing inputs, saying the law will  take its course.

“Keep your eyes on Pfumvudza, Command Agriculture and all other Government programmes. All what we want to hear is responsible and accountable officers safeguarding the diverting of inputs by some of the bad apples among us. The media has been exposing such malpractices and we hope that justice will be delivered to deter others from engaging in this malpractices,” said VP Chiwenga.

VP Mohadi said it was encouraging that the awards were being held at a time when the economy was stabilising and when there has been a forecast of good rains for this season.

“The awards come in the background of general stability of the economy. It is also encouraging that it comes when normal and above normal rainfall has been predicted by the Meteorological Office,’ said VP Mohadi.

The event was organised by Zimlife Agricultural Merit Awards in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate  and Rural Resettlement.

VP Chiwenga and his counterpart Cde Kembo Mohadi were honoured for their sterling work in the drive to enhance agricultural productivity.

Several companies that include seed houses, financial institutions and individuals were honoured for their contribution in growing the agricultural sector.