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Mnangagwa launches US$51 million John Deere mechanisation facility

by Staff reporter
25 Jun 2020 at 16:19hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa has launched the US$51 million John Deere Mechanisation Facility that is expected to transform the agriculture sector and ensure the industry becomes the pathway out of poverty and a pre-condition for economic growth and prosperity of the country.

The facility will unlock 1 300 tractors, 80 combine harvesters, 600 planters, 200 disc harrows, 100 boom sprayers and 100 trailers, which will enable farmers to boost productivity.  The tractors will be used mainly by 5 000 farmers under the National Agriculture Recovery Plan.

The selection of beneficiaries is based on creditworthiness of the farmers as assessed by the CBZ and Stanbic Bank, while Agribank is establishing a Special Equipment leasing vehicle for the purposes of mechanisation service provision especially combine harvesters.

Commissioning the facility at the Institute of Agriculture Engineering in Hatcliffe today, President Mnangagwa said attainment of food self-sufficiency was one of Government's key priorities.

"The launch of this facility attests to the commitment by my Government to work with various partners and investors, guided by the Zimbabwe Open for Business mantra to grow, and prosper our economy so that our people enjoy better quality of life.

The President expressed concern that out of the 4,31 million arable hectares in the country, one million hectares was under draught animal power, only half a million hectares under tractor power with a balance of 2,8 million hectares requiring farm mechanisation.

"The John Deere facility is therefore a welcome development as it will assist our farmers with the much needed mechanisation solutions. This facility will also help ensuring the success of our Agricultural Recovery Plan which is meant to ensure that Zimbabwe achieves self-sufficiency in the production of cereals.
"Increased production and productivity must ultimately result not only in self-sufficiency and exports but also in the creation of decentralised industry systems especially in rural areas," he said.

Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri said the agriculture sector had an essential and critical role as a vital pathway and enabler towards the attainment of Vision 2030 of becoming a middle income economy. He said the Agriculture Recovery Plan was meant to guide operations towards having a vibrant agriculture sector.

"As a ministry, we are grateful to the practical leadership of His Excellency the President E.D Mnangagwa whose engagement culminated in the consummation of the John Deere Mechanisation Facility.

"It is such kind of facility whose equipment if appropriately used definitely put us in advantage position towards the achievement of Vision 2030.
"Agricultural production is the only proven pathway out of poverty and sufficient condition for the overall economic transformation of a country," he said.

John Deere local representative, Mr Graham Smith said the company would help in training farmers in the use and maintenance of the equipment.

President Mnangagwa disembarks from a Combine Harvester

Present at the launch of the mechanisation facility were Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri , State Security Minister Owen Ncube, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Professor Amon Murwira, senior Government officials, representatives from the farmers unions and private sector among others.

Source - the herald