Devolution to empower rural communities- President Mnangagwa

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Harare (New Ziana)- President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said his government will intensify the devolution program to ensure previously under-developed areas catch up with the rest of the country.

He said this will be achieved through capacitating provincial agriculture-mechanisation hubs which will allow for smart agriculture through the use of technology.

Speaking while officially opening the 111th edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, the Zimbabwean leader said; “In line with the Devolution thrust, my Government is resourcing provincial agriculture- mechanisation hubs with a greater sense of urgency. I exhort the sector to re-energise the provincial, district and ward agricultural shows to further enhance ‘synergies, cooperation and collaboration’ within the sector.”

He added: “Economically productive rural areas are an essential guarantee to eradicating poverty and the realisation of development which leaves no one and no place behind. Our communal farmer s and all farmers in general, working together in unity, are important for further precipitating market driven productivity for both the local and international markets”.

The devolution agenda, re-introduced under the second republic, allows provincial governments to determine how they will use their resources and budgets as opposed to waiting for handouts from central government.

The President added that Zimbabwe expects normal to above rainfall during the 2020/21 farming season making a second, successive bumper harvest a reality.

“Today, we thus celebrate the past season with anticipation of even greater growth during the upcoming 2021/2022 agriculture season,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the increase and diversification of planted crops inclusive of traditional grains during the 2020/2021 season was commendable and should be replicated in the upcoming year.

“Government will continue supporting the National Enhanced Agricultural Production scheme, presidential climate proofed Pfumvudza/Intwasa and the Presidential Rural horticulture and livestock programmes, among other initiatives. I urge women and the youth to take full advantage of the opportunities created by those programmes,” he said.

Following the favourable weather forecasts of normal to above normal rainfall for the 2021/2022 summer cropping season , President Mnangagwa challenged farmers to heighten all land preparation.

“Let me once again call upon stakeholders in the agriculture sector to work concertedly to maximise on the prospects of yet another promising 2021/2022 summer cropping season. My government will in turn continue to create an enabling environment and facilitate the timely availability of inputs,” he said.

He said Government continued to provide responsive agriculture, commodity marketing frameworks with viable producer prices and the prompt payment to farmers.

“Equally, assistance to the livestock production sector with regards to animal health, construction of modern livestock handling infrastructure and utilities is being supported. This is set to boost both the population and quality of our national herd,” he said.

New Ziana

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