By ZBC Reporter
VICE President, Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga has commended the Mwenezana Estate seed maize project for complementing government efforts in ensuring food security in the country as food aid decreases.
The Vice President made the remarks at a field day in Mwenezi which was also attended by Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Perrance Shiri, Minister of Energy and Power Development, Fortune Chasi, Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo and Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro.
The Mwenezana project is a partnership between Sugar manufacturing company, Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe and Seed Co(Pvt) as one of the interventions in ensuring food security in the country.
Tongaat Hulett provided 465ha of land, irrigation infrastructure for the model private sector initiative and it is also managing the production of the seeds, while Seed Co is providing specialist agronomic and technical support.
The project is expected to produce over 1 555 tonnes of seed, which is enough to place 62 000ha under commercial maize.
The Vice President, Dr Chiwenga said the 62 000 ha is expected to produce 310 000 tonnes of maize at an average yield of five tonnes per hectare, which is enough to meet food needs of 14 percent of the population as the country works towards growing food to feed the population.
“We have all heard about the scourge of Covid-19 that is sweeping across the whole world. Every country around the world is in turmoil because of this pandemic and this means that each country is on its own, so we are also on our own,” said VP Chiwenga.
“Nobody will assist us with food because at the moment every country is battling with its challenges caused by Covid-19. The time for begging for food passed a long time ago. If you go anywhere and beg for the food, they will also say they do not have. Let us work on our own using our water and land to fill our silos.”
VP Chiwenga applauded Tongaat for its support to the government while appealing for the firm to increase its offer of 2 000ha for this year’s winter project.
VP Chiwenga said Government had already floated tenders for land preparation in Kanyemba (in the Zambezi Valley), Bulawayo Kraal (Matabeleland North) and other parts of the country as part of efforts to expand the winter maize project.
Meanwhile, VP Dr Chiwenga said the Government has already set the ball rolling through funding this year’s winter maize programme with a target to produce 415 000 tonnes after the State and private players financed production on 80 000ha around the country.
“We must fill our silos with wheat, maize and traditional grains. Government has put in place various interventions to make sure there is an adequate power supply to support the winter wheat initiative.”
The VP and his delegation also toured Chilonga in Southern Chiredzi where a Lucerne grass project is being planned.
By ZBC Reporter