George Maponga in Masvingo
Government has started moves to boost the District Development Fund (DDF) fleet in Masvingo ahead of this year’s rain season with two heavy-duty tractors being commissioned today to spearhead land preparation in Masvingo and Chiredzi districts.
The two tractors acquired under the Belarus agricultural mechanisation programme will boost the province’s severely depleted fleet of only seven tractors.
Speaking at the commissioning of the tractors at the DDF’s provincial depot today, provincial coordinator Mr Marasa Gutukunuwa said out of the provincial complement of 72 tractors only 7 were running.
The DDF boss said 24 required minor tweakings to run again while 41 needed major attention.
As a result of the depleted tillage fleet, DDF’s fortunes had plummeted from tilling over 4000 hectares for communal and small scale commercial farmers in the 2017/18 farming season to only 307 hectares in the 2019/20 season.
Adding two tractors to the provincial tillage fleet would accentuate Government’s drive to engender food security in the province in line with Vision 2030 with more tractors on the way.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira who commissioned the tractors said agriculture is one of the key pillars of the provincial economy.
Minister Chadzamira said the delivery of the tractors is a testament to President Mnangagwa’s vision to transform the living standards of ordinary Zimbabweans.
According to Minister Chadzamira, Masvingo’s economy would grow from a current Gross Domestic Product of US$1,8 billion to US$8 billion by 2030 powered by growth in sectors such as agriculture.