Pro-people policies spurring unprecedented agriculture growth -President Mnangagwa
Harare (New Ziana) -Pro-people policies which the government is implementing have seen the country recording unprecedented growth in agriculture, making it food secure since the past four farming seasons, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He said this while officially opening the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in the capital.
President Mnangagwa said the unparalleled growth witnessed in the agriculture sector over the past four years should be sustained as the country moves to break previous records.
He said the target of a US8.2 billion agriculture sector by December 2022 has since been surpassed after the country achieved US$9.9 billion, a development which has necessitated an upward revision of the target to US$18.75 billion by 2025.
“This unprecedented growth is a result of a robust and resilient agriculture sector driven by climate-proofed production and productivity.”
“The Pfumvudza/Intwasa program and the Presidential Inputs Scheme among other interventions have contributed to both household and national food security,” he said.
Over the past three seasons, the country produced above its annual cereal requirements of 2.2 million metric tonnes, whilst under the accelerated irrigation rehabilitation program the sector has to date realised 204 000ha under irrigation, up from 173 ha in 2020, President Mnangagwa said.
He said the country is on course to achieve a target to irrigate 350 000ha by 2025.
President Mnangagwa said going forward the focus is to prioritise the development of irrigation schemes around newly constructed dams.
“The country achieved a record winter wheat production of 375 131 metric tons from a mere 80 886 ha planted in the 2022 winter production season. We are again poised to surpass current production levels as 90 192 ha of wheat were planted during this 2023 winter wheat production season.”
“Similarly, our country achieved a record production of 295 million kg of tobacco during the 2022/23 season,” said President Mnangagwa, adding that the bulk of the wheat and tobacco is coming from A1 and A2 farmers.
He said this is ample evidence of the success of the Land Reform Program as well as the responsive pro-people policies of the Second Republic.
The national dairy herd increased by 11.39 percent from 47 825 in 2021/22 to 53 250 in 2022/23 whilst total milk production increased by 15 percent from 79.6 million litres in 2021/22 to 91.4 million litres in the 2022/23 season.
“In terms of the poultry sub-sector, production of day-old chicks increased by 28 percent from 71.4 million in 2022/21 to 99.6 million chicks in 2021/22,” said the
President, adding the scheme is accelerating the distribution of chicks to rural households with a target of distributing 13 million chicks to 3 million beneficiaries across the country.
He said the government is accelerating implementation of the Rural Development 8.0 model which, among other issues, is establishing 35 000 village business units, one in each of the 35 000 villages in the country.
The government is also aiming to establish 2 400 youth business units, one in each ward, as well as establishing 9 600 school business units and 460 irrigation schemes, President Mnangagwa said.