Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
ZIMBABWE has made significant strides in solving its own economic challenges using home-grown solutions as the country looks set to address challenges fuelled by sanctions imposed on the country by the Western and European countries, President Mnangagwa has said.
In his address at the launch of the Provincial Integrated Youth Skills Development Centres in Kwekwe recently where he handed over 698 heifers to youths from across the country, President Mnangagwa said the country was in the right direction in as far as dodging effects of sanctions was concerned.
The President has been promoting the “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” (a nation is built by its people) mantra meant to create home-grown solutions for the country’s economic challenges.
The event was held at DCK Farm just outside Kwekwe owned by businessman Douglas Kwande, who also has interests in the bakery industry, a move the President said is worth emulating by most Zimbabweans.
Mr Kwande, who owns more than 3 000 cattle, started off as a cattle farmer only, but ventured into crop farming with the help of Government and now also grows maize and wheat.
His DCK Bakery makes bread, buns and biscuits, among other confectionaries, using wheat grown from his farm.
President Mnangagwa said land was the greatest asset that Zimbabwe has and it should be utilised fully.
“We took a decision to support our farmers like Mr Kwande so that they grow wheat and since then we have since increased our yield from about 70 000 tonnes to 335 000 tonnes per year.
We are only left with a few tonnes so that we attain wheat self-sufficiency,” said President Mnangagwa.
“That is the same principle we are applying as a country to address the challenges we are facing as a result of sanctions imposed on us.
We are not supposed to bury our heads in the sand.
We have our greatest asset, which is the land, and let us venture into mining, farming and all other ventures that we may with the support of the government. All our answers are in the land.”
He cited the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme ERRP 2, which he said was now spearheaded by local contractors.
“We used to tender outside the country for road rehabilitation and dam construction, but that is a thing of the past now.
Every province has roads and dams that are being constructed by local contractors,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President recently commissioned the Feruka Gas plant, which has since started producing medical gas that was in short supply in the country.
“We decided to equip our State universities after we decided to produce our own medical oxygen.
We funded the young scientists to do research and we built a plant in Mutare where we are now producing about 50 tonnes of medical oxygen per day,” he said.
Zimbabwe requires about 150 tonnes of medical oxygen per week.
The scientists are also producing cough syrup, which will go a long way in reducing prices of the syrup and oxygen during this Covid era.
After the country was overlooked by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the donation of Covid-19 vaccines, Zimbabwe had to devise a plan to purchase its own vaccines.
“We had to come up with a plan and we had to mobilise funds as a nation so that we purchase our own vaccines after we were overlooked and some African countries received donations of vaccines to mitigate against Covid-19.
This is because we realised that a country is built by its owners and we had to devise a plan,” he said