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Rural transformation gathers momentum

THE Second Republic will accelerate rural modernisation and industrialisation to create jobs, improve livelihoods and transform lives of once marginalised rural communities.

This is part of the Second Republic’s development thrust encapsulated in the National Development Strategy 1, and which has seen life-changing industries being established in Mwenezi and Mutoko. Speaking to thousands of people who thronged Chief Nenyunga homestead in Gokwe. Midlands, which is close to Matabeleland North Province and a hitherto underdeveloped area, President Mnangagwa said every farmer will this year get inputs for free under the climate-proofed Pfumvudza farming programme, which he launched yesterday.

Taking development to the rural areas, the President this year chose to launch the 2021/22 Pfumvudza programme, which has been extended to cotton at Chief Nenyunga homestead.

“We came here today. We want to modernise our agriculture and that will be achieved through our minister implementing our directives.

“As a country we are now 41 years old and I have seen that this area is behind, so I said we will meet here to assure you that from today onwards you will be part of the development programmes by the Government.

“We have come with seed that is enough for the whole of Gokwe area, this seed will be given to farmers in both Gokwe North and South. The seed includes cotton, maize, sun flower and small grains seed. This is for free,” the President said.

Gokwe is the country’s cotton production hub accounting for 52 percent of produce.

As part of improving earnings in rural areas, the Second Republic is providing subsidies to farmers on top of inputs. The President said his Government will ensure that every village will have a borehole, a community garden and family orchards. The President also presided over the launch of this year’s Zunde Ramambo programme meant to cushion the less privileged.

In the transformation of rural areas, where the majority of people live, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should arm themselves with the conviction that a country can only be developed by its people.

“We, the people of Zimbabwe are a great people. If you don’t call yourselves great then who will? If we don’t want to import food, we must commit to production. Last year we had a bumper harvest because of Pfumvudza,” the President said.

This year the agriculture sector, which remains the mainstay of the country’s economy earned the country US$8 billion and with an improved Pfumvudza programme, Zimbabwe is set to surpass the target.

“Riding on increased agriculture production and productivity, resurgent manufacturing industry and abundant mineral resources, the country’s economy is set to grow by over 7,8 percent — the highest in the region.

Rural areas, where some roads have become death traps will also benefit from the nationwide infrastructure development programme.

“We are going to construct roads and we want you to have modern houses. Each village should have a common garden, fruit trees and a borehole. We want to uplift every place because no one should be left behind and no area should be left behind,” the President said.

Agriculture extension workers received motorbikes with their assistants getting bicycles.

“We are going to reverse rural to urban migration by making sure that rural areas are developed to attract young people who would have completed their studies.

“Government has taken the step that we will support cotton producers, everything that is needed in producing cotton will be provided. You complained about the prices and we adjusted them to improve your quality of life,” said the President.

The President rallied the nation to get vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic saying no one is safe until everyone has been inoculated.

“As Government we have secured vaccines enough to achieve herd immunity and what is left is for those who haven’t been vaccinated to do so. As Government we say no one will be safe until everyone is safe.”

The President also promised border areas radio transmitters that will bring them on board with other nationals by accessing information.

He told the rural populace to be wary of some non-governmental organisations that are bent on derailing Second Republic milestones.

Briefing the bumper crowds on his recent trip to the United Kingdom, the President said developing nations took a stance that the so-called developed nations should bear the cost of transitioning towards green energy from fossil fuels like coal.

“Over decades they destroyed the ozone layer and this has affected oceans which are rising, endangering those in islands.

“On our part, we suffer from climate change, things like cyclones and droughts. Now that they are being affected, they are calling for green fuels. They wanted us to abandon fossil fuels and we said that can’t be done and they must commit funding for us to move to green fuels. We demanded a transitional period to move on,” he said.

The President was accompanied by his deputy Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka, Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.

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