Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
President Mugabe says the Command Agriculture Programme that Government adopted this farming season is expected to be one of the rallying points for the ruling party ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said the programme, together with the Presidential Inputs Scheme, helped the country regain its status of the breadbasket of Southern Africa.
President Mugabe said this while addressing the 105th Zanu-PF Ordinary Session of the Central Committee in Harare yesterday.
“Our flagship Command Agriculture Programme and the traditional Presidential Inputs Scheme, together demonstrated, not just our closeness to the people, but the correctness of our policies and programmes, in bringing about a quick recovery and turnaround in the pivotal agricultural sector,” said President Mugabe.
“As a result, the prospects before us are decidedly bright, with a palpable sense of hope pervading our nation. There is hope everywhere. We have regained our status as a food-secure nation, once again, they call that a breadbasket of Southern Africa. I hope we remain like that.
“The promise of a good agricultural performance translates, quite naturally, into even greater support for our party as we inch towards the 2018 harmonised elections.”
President Mugabe said Command Agriculture was about restoring food security in the country than just recovering from the El Nino-induced drought that hit the country in the previous farming season.
He said the programme would help fight hunger from this year going forward, as well as help in the country’s economic recovery.
The Zanu-PF First Secretary said a promising agricultural harvest would see farmers reap benefits in various forms, among them income from the sale of their crops, as well as feeding their families.
“The Command Agricultural Programme is about restoring food security in our nation and our nation in toto,” said President Mugabe. “More importantly, this agricultural recovery is a prelude to an integral part of our broader response to the challenges of illegal economic sanctions imposed on us by the spiteful West.
“Indeed, it is a key component towards a sustainable economic recovery and employment creation.”
President Mugabe said it was gratifying that cash crop farmers in tobacco and cotton were also getting good returns from their sales.
He said it was policies such as the Command Agriculture Programme and the Presidential Inputs Scheme that gave the revolutionary party an edge over the opposition.
“The livestock facility under Command Agriculture Programme, coupled with measures Government is taking towards the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company, should trigger sympathetic developments in the livestock sub-sector,” said President Mugabe.
“All these programmes, we must always remember, emanate from our party, Zanu-PF, and thus ours to claim and build on as we mobilise grassroots support in readiness for the 2018 harmonised elections.
“We have (the) material. We have definite exhibits to show to our people as we campaign. Tell our people, ‘Well, we don’t want to emphasise what Zanu-PF stands for, just look around and you will see the story, the story of what Zanu-PF stands for, lots of maize and lots of food’.
“The successes outlined above do not owe to any one person or any organ of the party or Government. They owe to all of us, they belong to all organs of the party and Government, which in combination and harmony, enabled this excellent result that is ours to reap.
“The policies came from the party, Zanu-PF, the execution was done by a Zanu-PF Government. The benefits redound to our people and our nation in its entirety. This is what makes us the only national party of trust and record, indeed the author of policies that equate with people’s aspirations and well-being.”