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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Zim reaps benefits from the fight to own the means of production

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

LIBERATION fighters’ quest for land has inspired strides in Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector which has resulted in food security and increased livestock production.

We explore how the desire for land by the country’s heroes and heroines has inspired the nation to score significant agricultural successes.

As Zimbabwe commemorates Heroes month this August, it is important to remember that land was at the core of the liberation struggle as the country’s heroes and heroines sought to address colonial imbalances and ensure the black majority have access to the means of production.

With the key focus being on the need to ensure that Zimbabwe has a fair share of the proceeds of the natural resource in the form of returns, it is the struggle for land emancipation that has seen significant achievements within the agriculture industry.

Under the Second Republic gains emanating from the fight for land are there for all to see, with land utilisation by the black majority during the past three years having culminated in record winter wheat and cereal harvests.

It has also resulted in a surplus in grain output, development of irrigation infrastructure, revival of livestock production chains, mechanisation projects and Presidential Climate- Proofed Input Schemes among other features.

“Key features such as food security for the nation, elimination or removal of food imports, increased employment creation and livelihoods improvements for the achievement of Vision 2030 are all key results coming from land utilisation therefore as the country celebrates Heroes Day this month it is indeed imperative to draw an inspiration from what these daughters and sons of the soil fought for and the end results,” said ARDA Chairman, Mr Ivan Craig.

A strong focus on the tobacco value systems shows that the white minority had a huge share to land benefits in the lucrative tobacco industry, but the liberation fighters’ desire for land has inspired more locals to venture into the industry, resulting in Zimbabwe this year recording a historic tobacco output since 1966.

“The growth trajectory is depicting a picture where over 150 000 players are all indigenous growers reflecting strides being made to fully utilise the land which was fought for by the liberation heroes so indeed the tobacco industry is a major beneficiary with transformation strategies being realised as evidenced by the record high production levels in the entire sector,” said Contract Operations Manager Tian Ze Tobacco, Mr Lodwin Gatsi.

The horticulture sector has also taken the nation by surprise, with Zimbabwe now enjoying a huge market share in global markets as locals take inspiration from the liberation struggle’s quest for land.

“Indeed the fresh produce market is on the rise as a beneficiary I will take a cue from what the heroes fought for and it was land, so the results are now being realised with myself being a key beneficiary as I am involved in the value chain and also being able to export thereby making foreign currency all emanating from the use of land,” said Horticulture produce exporter, Mr Clarence Mwale.

That Zimbabwe has already exceeded the US$8.2 billion United States dollar agricultural economy envisaged by 2025 which also bears testimony of the commitment to consolidate gains of the liberation struggle on land emancipation.

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