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Export crops to transform rural areas

President Mnangagwa

Ishemunyoro Chingwere in Gutu

Export-oriented agriculture has the scope to foster rapid rural industrialisation and expedite the attainment of Vision 2030, President Mnangagwa has said. 

The President said this in a speech read on his behalf by Zanu PF secretary for administration, Dr Obert Mpofu, at the official launch of the Gutu Central constituency garlic export programme yesterday. 

The programme, a brainchild of Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando — who is area Member of Parliament, was started in 2018. 

Extensive work has been done since 2018 to ascertain the crop’s adaptability in the district. 

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President Mnangagwa also pledged the Government’s support for such initiatives and called on the private sector to partake in the project. 

“I am very pleased to be here in Gutu Central Constituency, where there are dedicated garlic farmers who have excelled in their garlic farming endeavours,” said the President. 

“I am inspired by the garlic farming success by the people of Gutu Central constituency whose farming vision has export orientation. 

“ Such projects being implemented at rural level have the scope to lead to rural industrialisation. 

“The NDS1 economic blueprint encourages our farmers to take advantage of a combination of low hanging fruits or quick win projects with a medium term impact as well as projects with a longer term impact,” said President Mnangagwa.

With the export market particularly keen on value added products, President Mnangagwa implored farmers to consider value adding the garlic into oil. 

Speaking at the same event, Minister Chitando said Gutu was poised to become a hub for garlic production. 

He said this will be achieved on the back of extensive research that has been put in production and marketing. 

In addition to farmers, Minister Chitando said the programme will see 37 schools in the constituency taking part in the programme.

The decision to include schools is part of the Government efforts to build commercial hubs in schools thus foster self-sustenance.

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Under the programme, each school will get support to till half a hectare of the internationally sought after crop. 

The schools will get the Member of Parliament’s support to grow ginger all of which has potential to generate US$40 000 per school per year.

“What we are witnessing here is a journey towards His Excellency’s Vision 2030,” said Minister Chitando.

“His Excellency has given us a vision . . . That’s the journey we are partaking in line with the direction given by the President.

“Those who studied economics will know that the attainment of an upper middle-income economy is not an event, but a process,” he said.

Traditional Grains Producers Association chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza, said exports crops like garlic bring hard currency to rural farmers. 

“What we are witnessing here is the birth of nostro bank accounts in this district and these are the benefits of a clear leadership of the second dispensation,” said Mr Nyabadza.

“These are crops that will foster urban to rural migration,” he said.

HERALD

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