Increasing production key to ensuring Zim’s food security

By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

AS the government continues to push for food security in the country, buy in from farmers is key with those venturing into large scale wheat production confident that Zimbabwe will once again be the bread basket of Africa.

Planted on a piece of land stretching over 700 hectares, this wheat crop speaks of the possibilities that can be attained when a nation is determined to be food secure.

Agriculture remains one of the key sectors expected to significantly contribute to the economic growth of the country and several policies to support farmers have been put in place.

Buy in from the farmers is crucial and this is the case at DSK farm in Kwekwe where 750 hectares are under wheat with the farmer highlighting that they answered government’s call to increase production.

30-year-old farm manager, Mr Duncan Magaya recognises the importance of agriculture to the economy and from farming 300 hectares last year, they put in extensive work to double production at the farm this time around.

“His Excellency, the President told us that if we’re are not able to fully utilise the land will be given to those who can fully utilise it. When we were in school people would say if you fail you will be confined to farming, yet they did not realize that farming is actually a very key business which is important to the country. This is the time to work, as young people we can work to better our country. We cannot have a thriving economy without a vibrant agriculture sector,” he said.

Policy interventions by government and financial support given to farmers by various institutions have made it possible for the farmers to increase production.

“Government has been very supportive in terms of inputs. It is not a joke to plant 750 hectares of wheat at one go. We really need to focus on sectors like agriculture and mining. Zimbabwe can once again be the bread basket of Africa,” he added.

Speaking in Chimanimani recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa highlighted the good performance in winter wheat production, noting that the country has enough to last 13 months.

Midlands Provincial Crop and Livestock Officer, Mrs Medlinah Magwenzi said the province surpassed its target of 6400 hectares this season, with over 7000 hectares under wheat.

“Over the years we used to have a challenge of underground water. This year we are doing really well in terms of wheat production. We did 7 310 and here at DSK this is the farmer with the largest hectarage in the country , I want to say as a province our contribution to the national cake is immense,” she noted.

Government is working to ensure that all major water bodies in the country are utilised for irrigation, and with irrigation in place, food security is guaranteed.

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