PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday warned civil servants against sabotaging government programmes, including the scandal-ridden Command Agriculture and presidential inputs scheme, as he launched a piggery project in Harare.
This comes as over 7 million Zimbabweans are currently facing starvation in the country, with programmes such as the Command Agriculture having failed to turn around the food situation owing to corruption and looting of inputs and funds aimed at enhancing the programme.
Speaking during the launch of the piggery scheme, which is under the Presidential Livestock Inputs Support Programme funded by Innscor Africa, Mnangagwa said unity of purpose, particularly at a time when the country is grappling with the effects if the coronavirus (Covid-19), was key in achieving economic development and surviving the difficult period.
“The associated benefits relating to value addition and associated services are important. In that respect, no one among us should frustrate the success of this, and other similar government programmes. My government will not hesitate to weed out all civil servants who oppose progress and frustrate programmes meant to better the quality of life of our people,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa further indicated that the piggery scheme is set to benefit 3 000 people, including vulnerable members of the community.
An initial 10 000 piglets will be distributed under the piggery scheme. The distribution modalities are such that individual beneficiaries will receive two sows and one boar.
These are expected to be passed on after the first progeny to the next farmers.
“At this initial stage, priority is being given to institutions, including agricultural colleges, research institutions, security forces’ farms, women and youth groups in all provinces, war veterans, centres housing vulnerable groups and boarding schools,” he said.
Mnangagwa called on the Agriculture ministry to translate new agriculture knowledge materials into indigenous languages to enable farmers to access trending best practices related to their respective sub-sectors, including piggery.
“The permanent secretary in the ministry of Agriculture has indicated that due to the national lockdown, agricultural extension officers are facing challenges in moving and accessing communities. As such I have committed to availing 5 000 motor cycles to assist the extension officers in discharging their duties.
“The present status quo imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, characterised by lockdowns, must never blur the fact that we must continue to produce in every sector, including in agriculture.
Hence, farmers participating in the Winter Wheat Programme must do everything possible to ensure that the targets envisaged by Cabinet are met,” Mnangagwa said.
Speaking at the same event, Innscor Africa chief executive officer Dino Timazos said the piggery scheme would enhance the country’s poultry production.
“The coronavirus has affected all sectors of the economy but it is important that we continue encouraging local production. The piggery scheme we are launching here today will enhance the country’s pork production which can be exported after the national lockdown and Covid-19 era,” Timazos said.
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