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Govt targets value addition says Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter
07 Jun 2017 at 19:09hrs | Views
Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa says government is targeting value addition and penetrating the export markets as there is potential of increased agricultural production under the command agriculture programme.

This came out at the multi-stakeholders workshop held in the capital.

The home grown solution of the public private partnership is expected to enhance capacity of farmers and increase agricultural production in the next farming season.

Acting President Mnangagwa says the country has great potential to export its agricultural produce.

He said focus must be on opening of new markets and value addition to all agricultural related products for the benefit of farmers and the country's economy at large.

"What is important is value addition and marketing of our produce in addition to the core objectives of satisfying national food security and nutrition and thereby substituting the need to import maize. The programme will enhance capacity of our farmers and help galvanise the national pride with regard to our ability to produce food for ourselves and turn around our economic fortunes," said Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa says the command farming programme has cultivated a culture of responsibility to farmers as they are obliged to pay back their loans through grain deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board.

A national de-siltation programme has been rolled out in all the provinces to restore capacity of water bodies which have been compromised by gold panning, stream bank cultivation among other factors.

"Government is currently conducting countrywide de-silting activities under the auspices of the emergency drought mitigation mostly in rural areas, a programme aimed at restoring the holding capacity of dams and weirs. The national de-silting programme is part of a broad array of measures that are meant to address drought-related challenges," added Acting President Mnangagwa.

The 2016/2017 farming season saw 168 666 hectares out of the targeted 247 035 hectares contracted under the command agriculture being planted, a development which has been attributed to the latest disbursement of inputs among other logistical challenges.

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Source - ZBC