Sunday, April 08, 2012

Adequately Fund Irrigation, Zimbabwe Fiscal Authorities Told

Adequately fund irrigation, fiscal authorities told

Friday, 06 April 2012 00:00
Agriculture Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

VICE President Joice Mujuru has challenged fiscal authorities to provide adequate funding for irrigation agriculture to mitigate the effects of droughts.

She said this while addressing delegates attending the launch of the China-Aid Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre at Gwebi College yesterday.

Chinese Vice Premier Mr Hui Liang Yu led a Chinese delegation that attended the launch alongside Zimbabwean Government officials and other stakeholders in the agriculture industry.

“Drought has become a recurrent feature of our weather pattern resulting in food shortages, which makes it critical for the country to lean heavily on irrigation as a way of reducing the effects of the erratic rains,” VP Mujuru said.

The Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre will facilitate the transfer of science and technology developed in China to Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, the adoption of agro-processing skills, spearhead agricultural research and showcase the use of irrigation systems and machinery made in China, said VP Mujuru.

She said the centre will provide training for Zimbabwean personnel such as extension staff, agricultural officers, students and farmers for effective support of land reform.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China wholly funded the demonstration centre.

Land reform, VP Mujuru said, had brought in many new farmers who required knowledge and technical skills to raise productivity.

“It is indeed our passionate desire to improve agricultural productivity and make Zimbabwe self-sufficient in both crop and livestock production.

“This centre will play a pivotal role in providing the much-needed skills and knowledge to farmers and thus ensure food security.”

The Chinese Vice Premier Mr Hui said the centre will help the people of Zimbabwe improve their livelihoods.

“The construction of the centre is a clear demonstration of the mutual co-operation existing between China and Zimbabwe and our desire to see Zimbabwe’s economy prospering and returning to its old standards,” he said.

Mr Hui said China and Zimbabwe enjoyed deep traditional friendship dating back to Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said he was delighted that the centre had been completed and would play a critical role in providing Zimbabwean farmers with the right knowledge and skills in agricultural machinery and equipment management and agronomy.

“My Ministry is concerned with issues of improving agricultural production and productivity per unit area to improve food security and secure better incomes for farmers,” he said.

The construction of the centre followed China’s 2006 pledge at the Sino-Africa Summit in Beijing to work on an eight-point plan to establish agricultural demonstration centres in Africa.

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