President gives fresh impetus to smart agric
Cletus Mushanawani in Madziwa
GOVERNMENT has lined up a number of programmes and projects that will be funded in support of the Smart Agriculture initiative, chief among them being increased power generation to meet the high demand for electricity in all agricultural activities including winter cropping, says President Mnangagwa.
In a speech read on his behalf by Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni at Chaminuka Agricultural Technical College in Madziwa yesterday, President Mnangagwa said: “As Government, we are accelerating the mechanisation and modernisation of our agriculture. We are geared towards transforming the sector through broadening access to agricultural finance and inputs, promoting production and productivity, growing of new seed varieties, enhancing extension services and infrastructure as well as developing markets for our value-added products to earn foreign currency.”
President Mnangagwa said Government was determined to increase water supply for agriculture purposes through dam construction, rehabilitation and maintenance works and ensuring the utilisation of water bodies.
“Auxiliary support infrastructure such as roads will continue to be rehabilitated to support and facilitate the movement of both people and goods as well as open economic opportunities.
“The rehabilitation and expansion of our rail network has become urgent to provide transport for the movement of bulk goods, such as grain, among other raw materials and finished goods within the country and the region.”
He added: “The upgrading of our airports to meet international standards and to move both passengers and the envisaged increased export of agriculture products such as horticulture has begun.”
President Mnangagwa said Government would continue to prioritise input supplies to farmers including support for access to tractors and implements on a cost recovery basis.
“My Government remains committed to address distortions in all sectors of the economy. We have made an upward review of producer prices of maize, soyabeans, wheat and cotton. The review of these producer prices should spur farmers to commit themselves to increase production,” he said.
As the devolution agenda continues gathering steam, President Mnangagwa encouraged stakeholders across the country to take stock of their natural and man-made endowments to craft specific and achievable development plans towards the achievement of Vision 2030.