Walking the talk on food security

President Mnangagwa is leading by example as a farmer, walking the talk in implementing Government’s agricultural policies to ensure food security and sovereignty for the country, Mozambican leader, President Filipe Nyusi, has said.

President Nyusi made the remarks during a tour of Pricabe Farm in Sherwood, Kwekwe in the Midlands Province, a property owned by the First Family, which is implementing an elaborate and prolific agricultural project.

He said it was one thing for the Head of State and Government to direct people to work hard by planting a variety of crops and another thing for him to be actively involved in tilling the land for people to emulate.

“Leading by example. The President is doing things, because sometimes you may say (as the President) let us grow maize, soya and wheat. You can talk to the people but if you don’t know what you are talking about, it will not be easy because people will not understand you, but what my brother is doing here is leading by example,” said President Nyusi in a brief interview with The Herald.

The farm has several crops  including maize, wheat, soyabeans among others that are at different stages of growth.

There is also fish farming and cattle rearing of different breeds.

One project that became a centre of attraction during the tour is the Ankole breed of cattle whose origin is traceable to East Africa.

Ankole is a rare and high demand breed of cattle and it is characterised by its large body and long and curving horns but with a fairly small head size.

Another project that drew attraction is fish farming where the two leaders took time to feed the fish in a spacious pond.

The farm also has a thriving winter wheat crop under irrigation while maize harvesting is ongoing. 

Projects at the farm are powered by modern equipment consistent with the Second Republic’s thrust of mechanisation, modernisation and industrialisation anchored by the Government’s economic blueprint, National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

In an interview after the tour, the farm manager, Mr Patrick Mnangagwa, said the President has a hands on approach to farming as he is always on the ground to assess progress.

“The first thing is dedication and commitment. As you know the President is here almost every Sunday and while we are equally committed to succeed, his presence will push us to work harder. We are compelled to push and work hard because we have targets. Right now we are behind because of some factors. 

“We now have shifts and of late I have been sleeping for less than five hours. All the machinery will be working . . . combine harvesters will be rolling, tractors and so forth. So it’s about planning, with proper planning and dedication you will succeed.”

A field day was recently held by seed houses after an assessment showed massive land utilisation at the farm.

President Mnangagwa’s commitment to farming has seen him expanding his work by renting nearby farms as part of his desire to achieve maximum yields for the country.

He is on record as encouraging people to work hard so as to ensure national food self sufficiency.

The President is further on record as saying the geo-political developments such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine should not find the country flat footed.

Zimbabwe has over the years been relying on its wheat and fertiliser supplementary requirements from Russia and Ukraine and the conflict pitting the two countries has created a deficit.

The Government has through its several agricultural intervention measures seen the country attaining wheat self-sufficiency and optimal levels of food.

President Nyusi is on a three-day State visit to Zimbabwe to deepen co-operation between Maputo and Harare whose relationship goes back to the days of the liberation struggle.

The tour was attended by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava, Lands  Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Minister Anxious Masuka, Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution responsible for Midlands, Cde Larry Mavima, Deputy Chief Secretaries in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr George Charamba and Reverend Paul Damasane, senior Government and Zanu PF officials.

The Herald

Positive Eye

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