The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development on Wednesday launched the Presidential Rural Development Programme in pursuit of accelerating the attainment of Vision 2030.
The event follows the launch of the national programme by President Mnangagwa, in Mangwe, Matabeleland South Province, in December 2021.
In his keynote address, during the launch in Mashonaland West Province, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuku, said the programme was the hallmark of the Second Republic as it seeks to advance progress.
“The Presidential Rural Development Programme is an accelerator for the attainment of Vision 2030, anchored on the provision of water as a right and an economic enabler. Water will cause agricultural development.
“Agricultural development will cause rural industrialisation. Rural industrialisation will spur rural development which will, in turn, facilitate the attainment of Vision 20230. The Presidential Rural Development Programme will transform rural communities from being largely economic spectators to largely economic actors and participants,” said the Minister.
He said under the Presidential Rural Development Programme, Government, through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) intends to drill and equip a total of 35 000 boreholes by 2025.
The Minister said this will see a borehole in each of the 35 000 villages across Zimbabwe and these will be solar-powered boreholes that will open the way for the local communities to establish horticulture gardens, drip irrigation, growing high-value crops, fisheries, and piped water schemes together with washing slabs and cattle troughs.
“The Presidential Rural Development Programme is a complete package which will address food security, import substitution, poverty alleviation and eradication, access to safe and clean water by rural communities and employment creation. In this year alone 5 000 boreholes will be drilled nationally, two per ward, and more than half of which shall have the gardens constructed this year.”
The Minister said a whole of Government approach will see ZINWA providing water infrastructure, the Irrigation department will be providing drip irrigation infrastructure and security fence, Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA), supported by Agritex, will provide agronomy support.
He said Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) will provide seed financing for cash crops growing, while Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) and ZimTrade will provide marketing support.
“The Tobacco Research Board and Department of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS) will provide sweet potato vines to households; Forestry Commission will provide fruit tree seedlings. The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department will provide support in fish farming,” added Minister Masuka.
The Minister further noted that the District Development Fund (DDF) will drill boreholes at all 9600 schools in the country and ZINWA will drill a borehole, one in each ward, for youth development, with the whole of Government approach unprecedented.
The Minister said the Presidential Rural Development Programme feeds into and complements existing Government programmes such as the Horticulture Recovery Plan and the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, all of which are directed at achieving US$8, 2 billion agricultural sector by 2025.
“By 2030, it is expected that the projects under the Presidential Rural Development Programme will be earning each and every beneficiary household in the region of US$ 600 a year