Zimbabwe has regained food security status after just one season under command agriculture.
This was disclosed by the Acting President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa during a Zanu PF fundraising breakfast seminar which was fully subscribed in Harare this Thursday morning.
The breakfast seminar was held under the theme: ‘Command Agriculture and its Impact on Industry and the Economy at Large.’
Riding on the success of the inaugural command agriculture season, Cde Mnangagwa disclosed that some farmers have already started registering for maize production under the programme in the 2017-2018 farming season with a total of 72254 farmers having been registered by the 15th of this month.
The registered farmers for maize under command farming have a land totalling 288 491,4 hectares, while the 10025 farmers registered for command soya bean have land to the tune of 51505 hectares.
Other financing partners have offered to contract 28 927,2 hectares under maize and 6510 hectares under soya beans.
Cde Mnangagwa thanked farmers, financiers and other stakeholders in the agro-value chain for their continued support and commitment to command agriculture and presidential inputs scheme, adding that the government has expanded command agriculture to include other crops like wheat, soya beans and cotton as well as livestock.
Cde Mnangagwa said irrigation development is key to sustaining the momentum of production brought about by command agriculture.
He said irrigation guarantees the country’s ability to produce food even during times of drought.
“The government is committed to increasing irrigation capacity in every district throughout the country to attain a target of 300 000 hectares of irrigated land and once we attain that target, we will permanently eradicate hunger,” he said.
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Dr Ignatius Chombo and Secretary for Finance, Dr Obert Mpofu commended Cde Mnangagwa for the successful supervision of the command agriculture programme and for the success it has brought to the country’s agricultural sector.
“He took keen interest in the programme and for the first time in years, Zimbabwe has regained its status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa, said Dr Chombo, who is also the Minister of Home Affairs.
Dr Mpofu said the breakfast seminar was also a platform to give feedback to well wishers who support party programmes such as command agriculture and it also gives the ruling party an opportunity to explain some of its policies and sharing ideas.
He said the fundraising breakfast seminar had targeted to raise $500 000 but the figure has since been surpassed.
The ruling party is preparing for the 2018 elections and it has used the platform to implore all eligible Zimbabweans to register in the ongoing registration exercise by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and acquire documents from the Registrar General’s office.
The breakfast seminar was attended by members of the Politburo, Central Committee, party directors and captains of industry and commerce.