By Varaidzo Zhakata
THE agricultural sector has come under criticisms during the Second Republic’s era; despite the new dispensation efforts to restore the country back to its Southern Africa ‘breadbasket status’.
Quite a number of comparisons have been drawn between the agricultural sector, in today’s new dispensation and the former government, but there are a lot of successful initiatives being put forth to improve the agricultural land sector today, which can go a long way to recoup the Zimbabwean agriculture industry, as well as its breadbasket status.
The Pfumvudza programme has been well received countrywide and the masses seem to be warming up to the program. Training being given to farmers is a new initiative on its own because previously communal farmers were never seriously considered for career-changing training since such initiatives were mostly reserved for large commercial farmers. This, along with the Presidential Command Farming program, which provides inputs to farmers, has done more to help the country, in as far as curbing hunger by making ensuring that farmers in areas whose land did not have any yield, received enough food for their families’ consumption.
Distribution of motorbikes to Agritex officers for easy movement is a development, which alone deserves applaud. This initiative comes with close monitoring of farmers’ fields, as well as determining if the land is fit to produce.
The new dispensation is coming up with a whole lot of efforts to see to it that Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector is revamped once again.
Recently, the country launched a $51 million mechanisation programme that will see 800 units of different farm equipment being received in the country from Belarus. This will not only allow farmers to have a complete cycle of machinery or equipment necessary for production, but it will help modernise the agricultural industry and minimize the need for human labour.
Though the criticism that this kind of initiative took place back in the era of the late former president Robert Mugabe may have popped up, the question remains what was the motive for the criticism and to whom was it directed?
This takes us back to the very same story; different mindset and prospects for the future for the two leadership.
The Agricultural Recovery Plan and the Horticulture Recovery Plan are some of the initiatives that have been approved by the government and are sure to breed results. Targets marked for the initiatives vividly reveal that the main reason is not only to contain hunger but to also improve the economy, which is in an ailing state.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and need-not-to-be saturated by unnecessary criticism and lack of confidence in the initiatives being applied.