Food imports a shame: ED

The Chronicle

Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau

President Mnangagwa has called on farmers to embrace new technologies in farming to improve productivity and reduce the country’s dependence on food imports.

The President said this yesterday after touring Radzim Agripower at Bluffhill Industrial Park in Harare.

Formed in 1996, Radzim Agripower, supplies farming implements.

President Mnangagwa, a farmer of repute, said he strives to embrace technology in his operations. 

“As a farmer I want to embrace technology for the betterment of production,” he said.

“For example, as a farmer I continuously interrogate the latest technology in agriculture to mechanise and modernise our agriculture. Our farmers at every level, the small (scale) farmer, the medium (scale) farmer and the commercial farmer the big farmer; we should not be content with how we entered agriculture, we must continuously seek to improve productivity on our land.”

President Mnangagwa added that Zimbabwe should not be importing food given its rich soils. 

“We can never improve the size of our land but what we can improve is the production on the piece of land that we have and that can only be done by embracing science and technology,” said President Mnangagwa.

“This is the way to go. Zimbabwe is primarily an agricultural economy. It is from the soil where we get our living, our food comes from the soil. We should be happy and grateful that Zimbabwe has abundant agricultural land and it’s a shame that we should be importing food when we are endowed with such rich and fertile land in this country,” he said.

The President called on Government and the private sector to work together to improve productivity on farms in light of the menacing climate change.

“We cannot control climate change but there are methods of mitigating climate change and that is by building dams across the country so that we increase productivity even in times of droughts.

“It is necessary that both as Government and the private sector we put our act together. There’s no ‘them and us’, it should always be ‘us together’, to develop, to improve the lives of our people,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said agricultural production was a prerequisite for the growth of industry in the country. “It is from agriculture that industry is built on,” he said. 

“Agriculture deals with primary production but we must move on to the agro-processing. What we produce from agriculture, we must process ourselves, to value add whatever we produce.”

The President also called on local engineers to take advantage of companies like Radzim Agripower and partner them to produce components of some of the implements they sell.