‘Zim resilient to sanctions, global shocks’ President Mnangagwa

Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE’s economy has shown remarkable resilience to the effects of 22 years of Western sanctions and the geo-political conflict between Russia and Ukraine through the adoption of  robust home-grown strategies that have seen the country getting a surplus wheat stock, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

The President said this during a Africa Green Revolution Forum presidential summit panel discussion in Kigali which included President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Mohamed Bazoum (Niger) and Tanzania’s Vice President Dr Phillip Isdor Mpango.

Zimbabwe had demonstrated significant resilience despite 22 years of sanctions and the current global shocks after the country reacted early and robustly, and it paid off.

“We have 13 months supply of wheat now,” President Mnangagwa said.

“The crisis in Ukraine does not affect us. We are now on our own. We need to have food security on the basis of our own resources.”

Zimbabwe cultivated a record 80 000 hectares of winter wheat and expects to produce over 400 000 tonnes against a national demand of 360 000 tonnes.

President Mnangagwa said in the coming year, the country planned to cultivate 1,9 million hectares of maize to get a yield of 3,2 million tonnes of the staple cereal against a national requirement of 2,2 million tonnes.

Moderator Ms Nozipho Tshabalala had asked the President what impact the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine had on Zimbabwe and what the country’s response was.

“Zimbabwe did not go to sleep because other countries had slept. Zimbabwe does not get any support from the IMF. We have no credit lines due to sanctions,” President Mnangagwa said.

“So we had to think outside the box. We are now producing our own oxygen, we have excess supply and if you want we can sell it to you.

“This crisis (Russia-Ukraine conflict) does not affect us.”

He said Zimbabwe had embarked on an extensive dam construction exercise, with additional dams being built in each of the country’s 10 provinces.

This, the President said, would see a significant increase in the total land under irrigation.

“We intend to put 360 000ha under irrigation by next year.

“Whether there is a drought or no drought, we will be food sufficient.”

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had commissioned a new fertiliser plant as part of the country’s Fertiliser Import Substitution Strategy.

This strategy, he said, would help make the country self reliant when it comes to fertiliser production.

Tanzanian Vice President  Dr Mpango said his country was also planning to build fertiliser plants to reduce dependence on countries like Ukraine and Russia.

President Mnangagwa said it was important for African countries to strengthen and consolidate regional economic ties to confront challenges such as climate shocks, pandemics and geo-political conflicts.

“Climate proofing agriculture is an immediate solution to address the challenges from climate change,” the President said.

“This can be achieved through the adoption of climate smart agriculture practices such as conservation agriculture and irrigation development that help build adaptive capacity, enhance resilience and increase agricultural production and productivity.

Collaborative efforts and inward looking strategies have been central to preserving and reinforcing Zimbabwe’s resilience to sanctions and global shocks brought by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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