Government has approved a US $51 million facility to be financed by farming equipment manufacturing company John Deere which will involve the supply of agricultural mechanisation equipment to boost productivity and viability.

Speaking at a post cabinet media briefing in Harare this Tuesday,  the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the US $51 million facility will see farming equipment manufacturing company John Deere providing machinery, training and loans to farmers.

“In a major boost for the Farm Mechanisation Programme, Cabinet approved a US$51 million Facility to be financed by John Deere which was presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. The Facility will involve the supply of agricultural mechanisation equipment so as to increase agricultural productivity and viability. The equipment to be imported under the scheme includes 80 combine harvesters, 1 300 tractors, 200 disc harrows, 400 planters, 200 seed drills, 100 boom sprayers, 100 tipping trailers and fast-moving spare parts for each of the equipment and machinery,” she said.

Still on the 2019 to 2020 summer cropping season, farmers can now import seed and fertilisers duty free.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement also briefed Cabinet on the state of preparedness for the 2019/2020 Summer cropping season.

After some discussion, Cabinet agreed on the following key strategic thrusts for the oncoming season:

 

  1. a) farmers clubs and associations be reactivated and supported to enhance productivity on farms

 

b)focus should be on increasing productivity per unit area.

 

Cabinet was also briefed on the funeral arrangements for the late former president cde Robert Mugabe.

“His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa formally notified Cabinet of the sad passing on of the founding father and former President of Zimbabwe Cde R.G. Mugabe at a hospital in Singapore on 6th September, 2019. He then led Cabinet in observing a moment of silence in honour of the departed iconic leader. The body of the late former President shall be received at the Robert Mugabe International Airport tomorrow in the afternoon. Details on the burial arrangements will be advised in due course,” said Senator Mutsvangwa

Other issues discussed today include the xenophobia attacks in South Africa and the veterans of the liberation struggle bill.