Zim regains food security status
Lovemore Ranga Mataire
Dogged by persistent droughts and incapacitated by Western induced economic sanctions for decades, Zimbabwe has through its Command Agriculture initiative managed to regain food security status, Acting President Emerson Mnangagwa has said.
Acting President Mnangagwa said this on Thursday while addressing guests at ZANU PF National Fundraising Business breakfast meeting held at Rainbow Towers in Harare.
“On their part, contracted farmers have an obligation to deliver a minimum of 5 metric tonnes per hectare to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) towards meeting repayment for the allocated inputs and services provided. This programme has seen an exponential growth in maize output during the 2016/2017 farming season. To that end, I am elated to report that Zimbabwe has regained food security after only one season,” Acting President Mnangagwa said.
He said farmers had already started registering for maize production under Command Agriculture during the 2017/2018 season.
Acting President Mnangagwa said a total of 72 254 farmers had registered 288 491.4 hectares of land to be put under maize production. He said a total of 10 025 farmers had registered 51 505 hectares of land to be put under soya been production under the same period.
The successful implementation of the Special Programme on Maize Production for Import Substitution has resulted in the government expanding Command Agriculture to include other crops such as wheat, soya beans and cotton. The programme has also been broadened to include Special Livestock Programme under the nomenclature Command Livestock, Fisheries and Wildlife.
The Acting President said government was committed to increasing irrigation capacity in every district throughout the country in the quest to achieve a target of 300 000 hectares of irrigated land.
“Once we reach this target, we will permanently say goodbye to hunger!” he said.
He said the success scored to date by both the Command Agriculture and the Presidential Inputs Programme are a clear testimony of what a nation can achieve when it is united, disciplined, purposeful as well as responsive in the implementation of agreed programmes and policies.
The fundraising breakfast meeting was organised by the Zanu-PF secretary for finance headed by Dr Obert Mpofu.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Dr Ignatius Chombo and Harare Metropolitan Minister Miriam Chikukwa were some of the dignitaries that attended the meeting.