Government introduces command agriculture

Mnangawa Emmerson

Vice President EmmersonMnangagwa

AT least 2 000 farmers are expected to benefit from a new agricultural scheme aimed at ensuring food self-sufficiency.

The new scheme, termed Targeted Command Agriculture, is expected to target farmers near water bodies who can put a minimum of 200 hectares under maize per person.

Addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) 2016 congress in Victoria Falls, Vice President EmmersonMnangagwa said government had come up with a command agriculture scheme involving 2 000 farmers and the mandate for each farmers was to at least produce 1 000 tonnes of maize.

“A distinct advantage of the project is that it is self-financing, with each participating farmer being required to commit five tonnes per hectare towards repayment of advanced loans in the form of irrigation equipment, inputs and chemicals, mechanised equipment, electricity and water charges,” Mnangagwa said.

The farmer retains all surplus produced for personal use.

To complement the food self-sufficiency thrust, government has also introduced the National Livestock Strategy aimed at resuming beef exports to the European Union, Middle East and other markets.

“As we implement the National Livestock Strategy, we remain alive to the need to guard against disease outbreaks like foot and mouth disease.

“Cognisant of the erratic rains in the semi-arid parts of the country like Matabeleland South and its effect on pastures, some 2 000 hectares is being cleared for irrigated grass at ARDA-Ngwizi, enough to feed 60 000 animals per annum,” he said.

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