Development of rural industry systems key to growth of provincial economies: ED
By David Mwanza
In line with the devolution thrust, ZANU PF First Secretary and President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, has urged the agri-business sector to invest towards the development of rural industry systems so as to accelerate the modernisation of communities and the growth of provincial economies.
President Mnangagwa made the call yesterday as he launched the US$8.2 billion Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, during the 8th Annual Agri-business Conference at the Exhibition Park in Harare.
The President underscored that Government’s economic policies were aimed at industrialisation, modernisation and creating a sustainable investment environment in society.
The agribusiness conference was attended by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga; Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka; Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo; Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Oliver Chidau; and representatives from the agriculture sector, among others.
“In line with devolution, I call upon stakeholders in the agri-business sector to make conscious decisions to invest towards the development of a rural industry systems to accelerate the modernisation of our communities and the growth of provincial economies.
“Meanwhile, I call upon our farmers and communities in general to undertake all social and economic activities in a sustainable manner, which protects our environment through sustainable environmental foot prints, across all the sectors of the economy,” President Mnangagwa said.
In deliberate efforts to enhance food security at household level, President Mnangagwa said Government was targeting to avail farming inputs to approximately 1.8 million households ahead of the 2020/21 farming season under the climate-proofed Presidential Input Support Programme.
“This action- oriented strategy provides the compass to the agriculture sector to fully exploit the inherent and God given natural resources of land and water as well as our hardworking human capital.
“In this regard, we have set out result oriented interventions for implementation by farmers. These include the rebranded Climate proofed-Presidential Input Support Programme, which has seen the introduction of the Pfumvudza-Conservation Agriculture programme, leveraging on our heritage based knowledge systems and practices.
President Mnangagwa also revealed that Government had started distributiing inputs to farmers.
“Farmers enrolled under this programme have begun the process of accessing Presidential Inputs for the 2020/21 season. Furthermore, the acceleration of the agriculture programme has seen a wide array of agricultural equipment being distributed and availed through a variety of programmes,” said President Mnangagwa.
In deliberate efforts to promote an inclusive and broad based economic empowerment, Government was also through the Small Livestock component of the Agriculture Recovery Plan establishing Goat Breeding and Improvement Centres nationwide, President Mnangagwa said.
“We remain alive to the economic and social importance of livestock to our communities. The implementation of the Presidential Livestock Inputs Support Programme is being accelerated covering cattle, goats’ sheep, poultry, pigs and fisheries. Government will carry on facilitating an enabling environment for growth of this subsector and its associated value chain industries.
“In all these programmes it is important that no one is left behind especially women, youth, veterans of our liberation struggle and people with disabilities. To this end, and in our quest to further promote gender sensitive, inclusive and broad based economic empowerment, the Small Livestock component of the Recovery Plan has seen Goat breeding and Improvement Centres being established in various communities,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa also called for a speedily adaptation of the use of smart technologies and innovation to improve agriculture productivity towards a prosperous, diverse, sustainable and competitive agriculture sector by 2030.
President Mnangagwa also said Irrigation Development and Rehabilitation was a crucial building block for the successful implementation of the strategy.
“At present we are ring fencing resources aimed at accelerating the successful implementation of the Kanyemba, Lowveld and Binga inclusive of Bulawayo Kraal greenbelts meant to produce maize and other national strategic grains to feed the nation,” said President Mnangagwa.