President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned beneficiaries of the land reform programme against underutilisation of land.
Addressing attendees at the official opening of the inaugural Zimbabwe Agricultural Show at the Harare Showgrounds on Friday, ED said:
I exhort beneficiaries of the land reform to be farmers, not mere farm owners. The new Agrarian revolution requires beneficiaries to give due attention to improving productivity across all crops.
Let us all rise to the responsibility of feeding the nation and meeting our dietary and nutritional needs as well as producing for export. The rationale behind our historic, irreversible land reform programme was to empower the indigenous people with the greatest factor for production, which is land. We must now, therefore, roll up our sleeves and assure maximum productivity.
To attain Vision 2030, we cannot afford to have idle, unproductive or underutilised land. Equally, our captains of industry and commerce must be pro-active, by supporting agriculture and its attendant value chains. Under the Second Republic, there cannot be a “them and us” mentality. Sustainable economic growth will take all of us, working together, across all sectors.
The Zimbabwe Agricultural Society patron added that agriculture remained the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy and immense contributor to national development.
His remarks come when Zimbabwe has since the turn of the millennium been unable to produce enough grain even for local consumption.
The country this year experienced huge bread shortages due to the depletion of wheat reserves.
Recently, the president declared hunger a national disaster and called for assistance as the country needs about 800 000 tonnes of maize to head off starvation.
More: Sunday News