Contribute to country's GDP, says Mutsvangwa

Contribute to country's GDP, says Mutsvangwa
Published: 12 June 2018
MANICALAND Province should contribute to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through diverse high-value agricultural crops it produces, courtesy of its exceptional climatic conditions, an official has said.

In an interview on the sidelines of a field day at Mangosho Farm, Nyanga recently, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Monica Mutsvangwa said Manicaland was endowed with all the five agro-ecological regions of the country.

"Manicaland has the capacity to produce high-value crops for lucrative foreign markets and earn foreign currency, which should feed into the GDP of the country. We need as a province to make sure that farmers do market driven activities in which all crops are produced for specific markets to curb losses and also empower the producers," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Minister Mutsvangwa praised President Mnangagwa for introducing Command Agriculture, saying the programme had given farmers an opportunity to make use of land effectively.

"The programme allows farmers to get basic inputs, which most farmers fail to secure on their own so there is no excuse for anyone to underutilise their land. We want the programme to cover all small grains from now going forward so that districts such as Buhera that are dry will also not experience food shortages," added Minister Mutsvangwa. She said Government expected farmers to produce enough maize to feed the country and stop grain imports.

"To meet such production levels from the average hectares that we harvest each year, we need an average yield of 1,4 tonnes per hectare. We know that a high number of hectares are grown in the drier parts of Manicaland such as Buhera, parts of Mutare district, parts of Chimanimani and Chipinge districts where there are poor yields. This puts a lot of pressure on farmers in areas such as Nyanga that receive good rainfall to produce yields that are higher than 1,4 tonnes per hectare," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She challenged farmers to target maize yields above 1,4 tonnes per hectare, which is possible through working closely with Agritex, adopting modern farming technologies and use of effective and reputable inputs such as seed, fertilisers and chemicals like those coming through Command Agriculture.

Minister Mutsvangwa urged farmers to seek partnerships or even get contractors before commending the role of companies such as Syngenta, Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (ZFC), Intaba, MFS and Omnia that graced the field day and whose products the farmer had also used through the production process.

Zimbabwe needs 2 million tonnes of maize every year for both human and livestock consumption.
- the herald
Tags: Mutsvangwa,


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