President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is targeting to provide inputs to about 1,8 million households for maize and sorghum and an additional 400 000 households for cotton production.
Cde Mnangagwa made the disclosure while addressing the 6th annual Agri-Business Conference at the Harare Agricultural Show in Harare today which was jointly organised by the National Economic Consultative Forum and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society.
“Agriculture advancement is necessary to improve the supply of raw materials for our agro-based industries. It is also key in the expansion of other economic sectors and attainment of food security and nutrition. Therefore, the growth of investments in the agriculture and agro-processing industries is imperative,” the President said.
“I am glad to advise that the distribution of inputs under the Command Agriculture and the Presidential Input Schemes has commenced. Government is targetting to provide inputs to about 1,8 million households, for maizeand sorghum and an additional 400 000 households for cotton production. I encourage interested smallholder farmers to register to facilitate early planning for the season,” he added.
The President however said the government is concerned with reported cases of abuse and selling of inputs received under the programme, adding that the government will not hesitate to enforce provisions of Statutory Instrument 79 of 2017 which criminalises such practices.
On the effects of climate change, he said the government has a mitigation strategy that will see an accelerated rehabilitation of existing dams and the construction of new ones as well as the provision of irrigation equipment.
“We have targeted 200 hectares of irrigated land per district as we seek to achieve a national minimum threshold of 300 000 hectares of land under irrigation,”the President added.
President Mnangagwa also said the government has committed one percent of its national budget to research and development across every sector of the economy and called on stakeholders in the agricultural sector to complement the initiative and invest in research and development.