‘Chipinge on a positive development trajectory’ Agronomist Mr Irvine Craig, who has been involved in farmer training on value addition said this is an effective way of resolving the challenge that has affected farmers not only in Zimbabwe but world over.

Agriculture Reporter

CHIPINGE District of Manicaland has picked a positive development trajectory following the introduction of the Presidential Rural Development Programme that saw the Government stepping up efforts to capacitate rural communities for maximum agricultural production and resource utilisation in line with Vision2030.

As part of the development initiatives under the programme, Chipinge is set to benefit from the establishment of drip irrigation technology for horticultural gardens. 

This is part of the Government’s efforts to boost nutritional needs of the rural population while guaranteeing food security at household level.

“A fisheries project and household fruit trees will be established to build an integrated farming system for the communities in line with setting up a business model around farming whilst a community piped water scheme and solar-powered boreholes equipped with storage tanks will mitigate the extremes of climate change through water provision for irrigation,” Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) board chairperson, Mr Ivan Craig commented yesterday.

The rural development programme, which was launched in tandem with the Presidential Pfumvudza/Intwasa input distribution is an elaborate plan by Government to build resilience within rural communities. 

Mr Craig further said: “This is a good opportunity for farmers. As the custodians to these projects, ARDA will make sure the farmers run the projects viably so that they can earn a living from them.”

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is set to extend the programme to 35 000 villages in line with the country’s devolution agenda that seeks to disconnect rural areas from perennially depending on urban areas for aid.

In addition, the Presidential Rural Development Programme is a pilot project that is aimed at paving way for the Government’s flagship programme Rural Development 8, 0 that seeks to transform rural agriculture in line with rural industrialisation.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka recently hinted that no country in the world had ever developed into an upper middle income economy without an inclusive agriculture plan and that the gross domestic product (GDP) originating from agriculture was twice as powerful in uplifting people from poverty compared to any other sector. 

The programme satisfies the dictates of sustainable development goals (SDGs) of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.

With the bulk of the country’s 61 percent of the population residing in the rural areas and surviving on farming, the Government is striving to uplift their livelihoods through the introduction of various programmes aimed at bringing out communities’ maximum production potential.

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