Ben­e­fits of Com­mand Agri­cul­ture

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Elita Chik­wati Se­nior Agri­cul­ture Re­porter

THE man­u­fac­tur­ing and agro-pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries are set for a ma­jor boost due to the an­tic­i­pated suc­cess of the Gov­ern­ment-led Com­mand Agri­cul­ture pro­gramme. The ini­tia­tive is ex­pected to re­duce im­ports of raw ma­te­ri­als. Com­mand Agri­cul­ture will see farm­ers pro­duc­ing two mil­lion tonnes of maize from 400 000 hectares of land. The pro­gramme is set to ex­pand to wheat and soy­abeans, and this will boost the bak­ing and oil ex­pressers in­dus­try and cre­ate em­ploy­ment in the process. Millers and stock-feed man­u­fac­tur­ers will also ben­e­fit through the re­duc­tion of im­ports.

THE man­u­fac­tur­ing and agro-pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries are set for a ma­jor boost due to the an­tic­i­pated suc­cess of the Gov­ern­ment-led Com­mand Agri­cul­ture pro­gramme.

The ini­tia­tive is ex­pected to re­duce im­ports of raw ma­te­ri­als.

Com­mand Agri­cul­ture will see farm­ers pro­duc­ing two mil­lion tonnes of maize from 400 000 hectares of land.

The pro­gramme is set to ex­pand to wheat and soy­abeans, and this will boost the bak­ing and oil ex­pressers in­dus­try and cre­ate em­ploy­ment in the process.

Millers and stock­feed man­u­fac­tur­ers will also ben­e­fit through the re­duc­tion of im­ports.

Bak­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe pres­i­dent Mr Give­more Me­soemvura said agro-pro­ces­sors were ex­cited by Com­mand Agri­cul­ture as they would now have the chance to get raw ma­te­ri­als lo­cally.

He said the fact that Com­mand Agri­cul­ture was ex­pand­ing to wheat pro­duc­tion meant the lo­cal in­dus­try would not have to im­port wheat. “We had our own ini­tia­tives of boost­ing pro­duc­tion to en­sure raw ma­te­ri­als,” said Mr Me­soemvura. “Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is also com­ple­ment­ing our projects.

“Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is go­ing to boost wheat pro­duc­tion and that means we will re­duce im­por­ta­tion. If raw ma­te­ri­als are ac­cessed lo­cally, it will re­duce costs and also boost pro­duc­tion. This will also cre­ate em­ploy­ment through­out the value chain.”

Grain Millers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe leader Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said millers ap­pre­ci­ated Gov­ern­ment for com­ing up with Com­mand Agri­cul­ture. The as­so­ci­a­tion has been im­port­ing maize and wheat for a num­ber of years, but the suc­cess of Com­mand Agri­cul­ture means they will buy grain lo­cally.

“We have pledged to buy 800 000 tonnes of maize pro­duced by farm­ers un­der Com­mand Agri­cul­ture,” said Mr Musarara. “This is a no­ble pro­gramme as it will pro­mote pro­duc­tion of maize.

“Farm­ers are as­sured of in­puts and a mar­ket and at the same time the coun­try will be self-suf­fi­cient in terms of grain re­quire­ments. Other coun­tries such as Rus­sia have pro­duced maize and wheat through com­mand farm­ing and we can do the same.”

Farm­ers and stake­hold­ers in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try have ex­pressed con­fi­dence that they will achieve the tar­geted yields of five tonnes per hectare, thanks to the good rains be­ing re­ceived in many parts of the coun­try.

Com­mand Agri­cul­ture will be ex­tended to wheat and soy­abeans and Gov­ern­ment is al­ready work­ing on the to­tal hec­tarage it re­quires for wheat pro­duc­tion.

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