By Rutendi Jiri
Government has set aside ZWL$3.9 billion for irrigation in the 2020/21 agriculture season, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube has said.
During his 2020/21 Zimbabwe National Budget presentation today, Minister Ncube said food sustainability was Government priority and this would be achieved through extensively supporting agriculture.
Minister Ncube said that Government had set aside ZWL$765 million for the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD) to capacitate it to adequately predict weather forecasts.
This would go a long way in preparing for natural disasters such as droughts which have affected the country for the past consecutive two or three years.
Minister Ncube highlighted that Government would prioritize the mechanization of agriculture through purchasing of state of the art farming machinery and rehabilitation of old machinery.
Zimbabwe is a beneficiary of the agreement with Belarus for the mechanization programme for farming and timber industries.
This saw over 800 units of equipment comprising of self-propelled grain harvesters, 210 precision seed drills, 474 tractors of different power capacities, fifth wheel trucks with semi-trailers for transportation of heavy equipment and four dump trucks being delivered in two batches to Zimbabwe.
Minister Ncube also said that Government would assist cattle and animal husbandry farmers with pest control vaccines to boast livestock production.
Government has launched a raft of agricultural programmes for the year 2020/21 among them Pfumvudza, Zunde raMambo/IsiPhala seNkosi and Climate Smart Agriculture among other programmes to enhance food security in the 2020/21 farming season.