Plans are underway for the opening up of land in natural region one, four and five where youths among others will be settled in estate farms and other planned programmes to boost food production, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said.
Speaking at a recent second edition of the National Young Champion Farmer Awards in Harare, VP Chiwenga said there was need to be cautious when resettling people to ensure their safety.
“We are in the process of developing agricultural land in regions four and five and even in other regions such as region one because of the soil texture. But we need to be careful when we resettle our people.
“We have earmarked Chimanimani so that we make it a horticulture, citrus, tea and forestry area and resettle people where they will not be affected if we have another cyclone.
“In those areas along the Zambezi Valley, the Save Valley, Runde and Limpopo where we are opening huge tracts of land, we would want to see youths also getting involved in estate farms. You start from there and we know our country is secure in terms of food nutrition and sufficiency,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said there was need for the educated to use their knowledge to boost agricultural productivity and food production rather than have Zimbabwe rely on imports.
“Let’s now take our education ability and go into every industry, starting by feeding ourselves, then going into manufacturing, in every industry. You are the youths. You are the future. Let’s see your worthiness and as Government we will give you the full support,” he said.
“Our economy is agro-based. As Government we continue to give priority to the agricultural sector through various programmes such as farm mechanisation where a certain quota is reserved for the youth,” he said.
Government has identified land for agriculture in Kanyemba with Treasury expected to finance the clearing of 300 000 hectares of land for farming and also fund water reticulation and acquisition for irrigation equipment to support the Government’s plans to turn the Lowveld into a greenbelt.
Recently Mashonaland East Minister of State Aplonia Munzverengwi said livelihoods would improve if a greenbelt was established along Rwenya River in Mudzi.
Provincial teams have already carried out a feasibility study and established that 5 000 hectares can be developed along Rwenya River.
“We want to establish a town just like Beitbridge, but we would want infrastructure that can support the development.
“We want to have a gateway to Malawi and Mozambique. Causeway Dam will soon be completed and we hope the irrigation scheme will be developed so we can produce food,” she said.