The Sunday News
Freedom Mupanedemo, Midlands Bureau
ZIMBABWE has in the last two years ceased to be a net importer of grain and is now food secure, thanks to the massive Agrarian and mechanisation programmes that are being implemented by the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Speaking during a national field day which was held at his farm in Sherwood, Kwekwe, President Mnangagwa said for years, Zimbabwe has been battling food security but since the coming in of the Second Republic, with its massive agricultural and mechanisation approach from household to national level, it has managed to become food self-sufficient on both maize and wheat production. The President said the primary goal for the protracted war of liberation was the land and Zimbabweans were now beginning to fully utilise land.
“Zimbabwe became independent in 1980 and the primary grievance of our revolution was the land and there will be no fulfilment of our revolution without our land. This is why the land reform which is irreversible came and is now behind us. Now our challenge and our task is to make production and Government must assist communities at every level to be productive. We must modernise and we must mechanise for us to be self-sufficient. It’s a priority of our Government for our people to be food secure. We are now in the second year of being food secure. We will never again under the systems and modern agriculture we have introduced be food insecure,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the country was commercialising agriculture with the view of exporting agricultural produce as opposed to importing. President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was moving on with smart agriculture which he said was being backed by the introduction of incubation hubs in local universities for local knowledge.
“We have introduced smart agriculture, we are doing this because of climate change, there is no guarantee anymore that we have enough rainfall each year, so whether there is rainfall or not, as long we have water bodies and we have over 10 000 water bodies in this country. We also have a programme now of dam construction and this is designed to guarantee us food security to mitigate against climate change and we have now succeeded.”
President Mnangagwa said even in drought, the country now had enough irrigable land to sustain the nation.
“So, we will never face hunger in Zimbabwe, even if we face drought we will still have enough water for irrigation. Our primary focus is to be self-food secure and secondly, we want to develop and modernise our country,” he said.
The President said the Second Republic’s will was to be friends with all nations around the globe but the existence of economic sanctions was slowly turning to be a blessing in disguise as the country was devising local solutions to local challenges.
“We are moving on and we want to be friends to all and not enemy to any as our foreign policy. Our primary focus is to develop. How do we do it, first-world countries developed on the basis of applied science and technology. This is why we have introduced education 5.0 which embraces and promotes science technology and innovation. All our universities now have incubation hubs where our talented young girls and boys can explore their intellect and can produce a product or service to their nation,” he said.
The President said the modernisation programme was embracing everyone with the country introducing computers even in remote schools in rural areas. He said the country also has a programme where every village will be connected to a solar-powered borehole under the Government policy of leaving no one and no place behind.
“We have a programme, I have asked the minister to count the villages we have in Zimbabwe and he said we have 35 000 villages in Zimbabwe. We have decided that each single village be installed with a solar-powered borehole in the next two years. We have started acquiring rigs for that purpose,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa who was hosting all farmers across Zimbabwe said he was a passionate farmer who was contributing immensely to the national grain.
“At the slightest time I get I dash to the farm and I make it a point that every Sunday, I am at the farm to discuss farming issues with my team at the farm,” he said.
The President has 500 hectares under maize and 250 hectares under soya beans.