Vice President Joice Mujuru has reaffirmed Government's support to farmers as Zimbabwe gears for this year's planting season. In a speech read on her behalf by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development secretary Mr Ngoni Masoka, VP Mujuru said this would be done to further strengthen the goals of the land reform programme and reduce poverty.
"Government is committed to ensuring that the right kind of support is given to our farmers as we prioritise the need to build our food reserves, generate exportable commodities, consolidate the land reform programme and thus help alleviate poverty through sustained growth and economic development," she said.
She was speaking during Seed CO National Crop Farming Competition prize giving ceremony held in Gokwe on Thursday last week. Mr Ambulance Ncube of Nyaje village in Gokwe South was this year's national winner.
VP Mujuru said agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy.
"It creates strong linkages with many other upstream and downstream industries hence the performance of the agriculture sector has a major and profound effect on other key sectors of our economy," she said.
VP Mujuru urged farmers to use appropriate farming methods to maximise production and consolidate the gains of the land reform programme.
"I would like to encourage farmers to do thorough soil analysis to keep the soils well nourished; in addition varietal placement is very crucial as farmers should be able to grow seeds that are suitable for their ecological regions," she said.
She applauded Seed Co for giving special attention to communal farmers, as they constitute 80 percent of maize grain production.
Zimbabwe has 5 200 Agritex officers, making them at least three per ward, which is part of Government's endeavour to make farming knowledge accessible to every farmer.