GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR SUSTAINABLE USE OF SOIL, WATER
By Vimbai Kamoyo
The government has called for the sustainable use of soil and water to achieve its ambitious goals in agriculture.
Speaking at the handing of certificates of staff members who had undergone training on contour ridges making, the Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development John Bhasera said it was imperative for farmers to make moves the conserves water and soil.
“The agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy seeks to achieve a US8, 5 billion agriculture economy by 2025. This strategy is a complete is a composite plan of action drawn from the Agricultural recovery plan, Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan and Livestock growth plans. These strategies enhance the attainment of vision 2030, which is anchored on National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“Part of the key resources mandatory to accomplish the objectives of all these blue prints is soil and water. Therefore, sustainable utilisation and management of these two vital resources is inevitable. It is against this background that the Soil and Water Conservation Blitz Programme was formed,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Soil Conservation Edwin Zimhunga.
The ministry boss said the programme was targeting the whole country with mechanized resources being put to ensure quick discharge of the programme.
“The Soil and Water Conservation Blitz Programme is targeting the entire country leaving no one behind and no land unprotected. The dream is to implement the blitz programme through awareness campaigns, trainings as well as pegging and construction of contours in catchment areas for all rivers and water bodies.
“… Manual construction of contours is labour intensive and time consuming, therefore the government is making a thoughtful effort to mechanise the construction of contours using tractors and disc ploughs. It is in that regard that the mechanisation of contour construction will commence with a total distribution of 37 tractors and 30 disc ploughs to all provinces hence facilitating the effective and construction of contours.
“In the last two weeks a training of trainers was conducted on design, pegging and construction of contours using tractors on a cost recovery basis. 27 trainees graduating today were drawn from all provinces and among them are 10 females and 17 males,” said Bhasera.