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Mnangagwa predicts agric boom

by Staff reporter
30 Oct 2020 at 17:41hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said there will be a rapid agricultural boom that will ensure food security for citizens and spur unprecedented economic growth in the country.

This comes as the government has set itself an ambitious target of achieving a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025. It also comes at a time the government had recently  signed a US$3,5 compensation deal with white ex-commercial farmers to bring to finality the land reform that started in 2000 and shift focus to enhanced productivity.

Officially opening the 110th edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in the capital, Mnangagwa called on all agriculture players to fully undertake farming activities with vigour to ensure that the 2020/2021 cropping season is a success.

"Let us all pull in one direction to leap-frog our government as envisaged in the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy. As we modernise the economy in line with vision 2030, no sector of our economy can afford to operate in  silos. I call upon players in the transport, logistics and manufacturers and retailers to prepare for the imminent boom of our agriculture sector," Mnangagwa said.

"Equally, the development and use of ICT solutions must be encouraged to improve efficiency and transparency in the registration of farmers as well as distribution of fertilisers, seed and other inputs. The technologies must be used to connect farmers to markets. On its party, my administration will continue to put in place policies which facilitate programmes which ensure the achievement of national and household food security. Ultimately, we are desirous to see a drastic reduction of food importation."

Under the Global Compensation Deed (CGD) signed with the farmers, the government will compensate developments made at the acquired farms in line with the Constitution. The government said it would also compensate farmers whose land was protected by Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (Bippas).

In his speech yesterday, Mnangagwa said agriculture was a vital cog in the country's economic growth and rural development. "The role agriculture plays in the economy cannot be overemphasised as it is contributing about 12 percent of Gross Domestic product, 60 percent of the raw materials that the agro-industry uses and over 40 percent of our export earnings.

The sector is also a crucial cog in uplifting our people out from poverty through agriculture industrialisation which transforms rural areas, the zones of economic prosperity," the president said.

"This can only happen when we get our agriculture working. Our people should not take agriculture as merely a way of life or just a development activity, but business. In this light, my government is accelerating the rate of implementation of programmes and allocation of resources towards reforming, modernising and growing the sector."

Mnangagwa said this year's agriculture show had given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the progress the country was making in the agriculture sector and related value chain industries towards the overall growth of the economy.

"The decision to go ahead with this year's event was strategic, more so in view of the expected good season as a result of the expected La Nina conditions. We must upscale preparations to ensure a bumper harvest and food secure country.

"I call upon players in the industry to leverage this unique edition to redefine areas of synergies while deepening collaboration in the ever-changing and demanding world," Mnangagwa said.

Source - the herald

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