Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Government is accepting financial assistance from co-operating partners who are coming on board to develop the country’s agriculture sector.
Speaking during a tour of Jotsholo Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Estate in Matabeleland North yesterday, Cde Mnangagwa said so far the Government had been approached by funders from outside Zimbabwe.
“Besides our own people coming together and putting resources together to make sure we develop our agriculture, we are also accepting co-operation from other partners who are coming in with funding.
“The funders who are approaching us are saying because Command Agriculture is succeeding, they are offering to establish irrigation schemes across the country and we will pay back with grain,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said Government was also looking at de-silting water reservoirs in Jotsholo to guarantee the success of irrigation at the ARDA estate.
“If that happens, agriculture will go back to where it ought to be and we still continue to grow it and we believe everybody will support this. Our President has a vision that Zimbabwe should go back to its food basket for the region status,” he said.
The VP said the country’s Land Reform programme initially went down as a result of re-organisation but that was now a thing of the past.
“What is left for now is for us to utilise that land, develop that land and make it productive. We will not have anybody from anywhere to make this land productive,” he said.
Earlier on during a briefing to stakeholders, VP Mnangagwa said Government was also working on boosting wheat production through Command Agriculture. Zimbabwe, which requires about 450 000 tonnes of wheat annually, has been importing the wheat to cover the deficit.