Govt out to promote animal, crop enterprises Dr Made
Dr Made

Dr Made

Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
GOVERNMENT is looking at promoting specialised crop and animal enterprises to meet the quality and quantity requirements for regional and international markets, a Cabinet minister has said. Last week, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said President Mugabe wanted a strategic thrust that brought into focus crop and animal production in the agricultural sector.

“The specific crops are oilseeds, such as soyabeans, groundnuts and sunflower, pulses (cowpeas, roundnuts and sugarbeans) and livestock, including beef, and dairy small stock,” he said.

“The support system is a clear layout of machinery and equipment that supports all categories of farmers, including infrastructure such as modern irrigation. Agriculture is a major user of water for both crops and livestock. His Excellency President Mugabe continues to reflect on the need to secure water. Could we not harvest flood water for use, for instance, in rice production? Rice requires a lot of water and also as we industrialise we require a lot of fresh water.” Dr Made said he was looking at how he could set up a team of experienced engineers to expeditiously push for irrigation development.

“We will be looking at the matter soon as we are forming the national mechanisation and irrigation authority,” he said. Dr Made added: “Already, the matters of machinery and equipment have been put to my counterparts in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil and other European countries such as France and Spain and multilateral agencies such as the European Union, International Fund for Agriculture Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, who are already helping us with both small-scale and large-scale irrigation projects.

“The local industry will be the major players in terms of machinery, implements and equipment, as well as in maintenance, repairs and working conditions in all that we do. We must take note of our ambient setting such as the soils and the environment for both plant and animal growth. The President emphasises that whatever we produce should be processed and beneficiated locally.”

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