By David Mwanza
The engagement and re-engagement policy, a hall mark of the New Dispensation’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra has started to bear fruit, the President and ZANU PF First Secretary, Cde ED Mnangagwa has said.
President Mnangagwa was speaking at the launch of the John Deere Mechanisation Facility held in the Capital this morning.
The launch comes in the back drop of President Mnangagwa’s visit to Belarus last summer where he clinched the US$52 million deal amongst others.
''This attests to the commitment by my Government to work with various partners and investors, guided by Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra. The coming in of John Deere into the agriculture value chain also bears testimony to the success of our engagement and re-engagement policy,'' President Mnangagwa said.
The mechanisation facility will go a long way in closing the equipment deficit in the agricultural sector. Official records show that the country has a deficit of 33 000 tractors, 500 000 combine harvesters and 10 000 planters.
The deficit has to be covered in the next two three years. The mechanisation of the agricultural sector will enhance land preparation thereby improving crop yields.
The country have a serious shortfall of tractors resulting in late land preparation and also leading to delays in planting.
The distribution of the tractors would focus on both small-scale and large-scale irrigation schemes countrywide, who demonstrate capacity to repay loans.
Besides tractors, Government has also taken delivery of irrigation equipment such as centre-pivots as the nation shifts from over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture.
Government also has other arrangements to secure additional farming equipment with Brazil, China and India.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa said the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes nationwide is well on course.
“On its part, Government under the Irrigation Development Program, will continue to support procurement and installation of centre pivots and other equipment and mechanisation on farms throughout the country,'' President Mnangagwa said.