Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says his government continues to prioritise food security in Zimbabwe through full utilisation of the country’s resources.
The President, who was speaking during a field day held at his Pricabe Farm in Kwekwe, reiterated that the land reform programme will not be reversed, but farmers must be capacitated to increase production.
The field day showcased an exceptional maize and soya bean crop.
President Mnangagwa, accompanied by Vice President, General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga and ZANU PF Second Secretary, Cde Kembo Mohadi , ZANU PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri and several government officials and diplomats accredited to the country toured the farm to appreciate the crop.
Currently, 500 hectares were put under maize, while 250 hectares of soya beans were planted.
As he chronicled how they started farming in 2002, President Mnangagwa said since taking over the farm they now produce five times more than the previous owner.
President Mnangagwa said farming is a profitable business when one plans accordingly.
From producing between 400 and 600 tonnes in the first two years after taking over the farm, the figure has since risen to 4 000 metric tonnes per season.
“We came here at the time of the land reform. The farm now produces 5 times more than was produced by the previous owner,” he said.
The main driving force for the liberation struggle was to acquire the land and President Mnangagwa said the land reform programme will never be reversed.
He said government must assist farmers to ensure they produce at full capacity.
“The land reform will never be reversed. Our task is to make it productive and government must assist all our farmers to be productive. It is the priority of the Second Republic to ensure food security.”
The role of students at institutions of higher learning in agriculture production is of paramount importance as enunciated by the President.
President Mnangagwa said in the past students were merely taught to be clerks, but now they are being equipped to answer the needs of industry.
“We were taught to be either a clerk or nurse. Now we said students must produce, products that we use and eat.
“We said students must produce what we eat, what we wear.”
President Mnangagwa reminded Zimbabweans that they are responsible for building the country’s economy and should not expect anyone else to spearhead the development.
“If there is anyone here who thinks that Zimbabwe should be developed by others find some water and baptise that person,” noted the President.
The Second Republic has put in place policies that seek to ensure irrigation is done at a larger scale across the country.
Several dams are being constructed and these include the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matebeleland North province.