Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has promised a massive increase in agricultural production, with Zimbabwe geared to become a net exporter of produce in the whole of Africa.
In an interview after touring several stands at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday, VP Chiwenga said the election campaign period was over and it was time to get down to business and deliver.
He said he was going to work hard to ensure that Command Agriculture continues to grow so the nation would not only be food and nutrition secure, but also export the produce to the whole of Africa.
VP Chiwenga, who was sworn in on Thursday, said he was geared to boost agricultural production by identifying virgin and open land that should be put under crop and fruit production.
He said he was following the footsteps of President Mnangagwa, who spearheaded the Command Agriculture programme during his tenure as Vice President.
“This time around I think kunotsva badza kuchisara mupinyi,” he said. “In fact, we have got plans to open up all the virgin land, which was not being utilised.
“I was in Middle Sabi during the campaigns and I saw that the whole area and Save River next to that and we think, if we drench Save we will have enough water to irrigate the whole area from Tanganda to Mahenye and that area can be used for the production of avocados, oranges, sugarcane and cereal crops.
“We should be the net exporter, not only in the SADC region, but on the African continent.”
VP Chiwenga said there were also plans to visit the Kanyemba area to identify additional areas for expansion into agricultural production.
“We will visit Kanyemba with all stakeholders, including the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr Justin Mupamhanga, to open that area,” he said.
“The Zambezi’s width is one kilometre and that area from Kanyemba to Muzarabani should be massively irrigated. We are going to introduce the same programme we have at Maphisa, Matabeleland South, and will do the same in Manyuchi.
“Zimbabwe will never be the same again. I told the people that the election is only held in one day, but for the rest of our life we should concentrate on production.”
VP Chiwenga toured the Dairibord stand where he stressed the need for investment into agricultural research through the improvement of all research institutions.
He visited the Zimbabwe Defence Forces stand whose theme is “Dedicated to the Defence of Natural Sovereignty from Field to Industry”.
VP Chiwenga was taken around the displays at the stand.
He was also shown how the forces are recruited, the requirements and the training.
The ZDF also showcased their different departments that included the Zimbabwe National Army operations such as de-mining, mines awareness and farming activities that included crop and livestock production.
The Air Force of Zimbabwe also highlighted their recruitment process, which was geared towards ensuring equitable representation through the promotion of gender equality and equity.
The AFZ is also into various agricultural projects.
VP Chiwenga then visited the Command Agriculture stand, which housed different departments and companies involved in the programme.
He also visited SeedCo Zimbabwe before joining other delegates in the Glamis Arena for the official opening of the show by President Mnangagwa.