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$8 billion target for Intwasa programme

by Staff reporter
12 Nov 2021 at 05:33hrs | Views
HEAVY rains that fell in Gokwe North District from Wednesday night till yesterday morning brought relief to villagers after days of high temperatures.

And that relief turned into celebration when President Mnangagwa descended on the area yesterday for the national launch of the 2021/2022 Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme at Nyenunka Primary School in Gokwe-Kabuyuni constituency under Chief Nenyunka.

The Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme – a low input sustainable agriculture approach on smallholder farming plots – has been successful in promoting higher returns as well as enhancing household food and nutrition security.

For those who live and work on the land in Gokwe, the launch was a special moment as many in this part of the country eke out a living from growing cotton which has since been included under the Intwasa programme.
Other crops covered by the programme are rapoko, maize, sunflower and soyabeans.

President Mnangagwa said the national programme should improve villagers' livelihoods in line with Vision 2030.

"We are here today just to show you that not a single person, community, district or chief will be left behind in national development matters. I heard that Chief Nyenunka doubted that I would make it today because in history, he has never hosted such a huge event. Let me tell you that you will never be left behind when it comes to issues of national development. Roads will be constructed because it is our goal to tar roads," he said.

President Mnangagwa said Government was happy with the increase in production and productivity due to the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme.

"We have three categories for those with farms and tractors, for those with donkeys and cattle and for those who only have their hands. For the big guys like the ones up here, we offer them loans and they must pay back once they sell their produce.

"For the second and third groups, the inputs are for free. They just need to work on the land. So, because of Pfumvudza, last year we realised $5,8 billion and next year we have set a target of $8 billion. We want to exceed what we got," said President Mnangagwa.

The President said agriculture was an economic enabler, adding that the country was on a growth trajectory.
"Our economy is the most performing in Southern Africa and on the continent. Even the World Bank which doesn't like us said our economic growth is above 7,8 percent. There is no other country in Sadc that has seen this growth and we are growing in the face of sanctions," he said.

Also in attendance were Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who accompanied the President from Harare, as well as Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube and her Matabeleland South counterpart Abednico Ncube.

The day saw the President also giving cotton seed and other crops to villagers, and motorbikes to Agritex officials.
Said VP Chiwenga: "This is a special day because it has been proved that this programme increases food  production. It also reduces the rate of land degradation. We need to be united."

Chief Chireya said since President Mnangagwa's ascendency, times have been good.

"In traditional terms when a chief is installed and it rains, we believe it's a  sign that the heavens have accepted.

"Such has been the case since he came to power and we say he has been ordained by the Lord Almighty," he said.

Chief Ngungumbane hailed the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa, saying he has always stood by his people.

"We are really feeling the progress being spearheaded by the Second Republic. We are relieved by this cotton concept.

"We have been having problems in accessing inputs and we are very happy that we can now prepare for farming with a clear mindset.

"We can assure the President that we will not fail him on his vision," he said.

As early as 6AM, villagers, seed companies and fertiliser manufacturers started making their way to the venue of the national launch.

They all braved the unusually chilly weather following a night that was characterised by a heavy downpour.

A big white tent had been put in place for villagers but they turned out in huge numbers forcing an overflow.

The launch was attended by people from all walks of life, amid pomp and fanfare with the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) brass band leading the multitudes in celebration.

Trucks, buses and small vehicles occupied all the space at the primary school and at Nyenunka Secondary School.

About 10km away from the primary school, at Chitekete Business Centre, it was brisk business for shops and lodges which ran out of goods.

Source - The Chronicle
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