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GOVERNMENT says it has come up with multiple rural-based projects, which are expected to accelerate programmes envisaged to transform the country into a middle-class economy.

This was said by Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka last Friday during a tour of several projects in rural areas and farms in the southern part of the country.

Masuka said some of the projects that would steer the country towards the achievement of Vision 2030 would include horticulture, fisheries, small livestock husbandry, and village nutrition gardens, which are all designed to economically uplift village households in terms of attainment of food security.

He said government would supply one million breeder goats for the launch of a pass-a-goat-scheme.

In addition, Masuka said government would drill 35 000 boreholes in each of the country’s 35 000 villages and resettlement areas. In this scheme, he said, every household was expected to embark on horticulture and other agricultural ventures.

We want to touch every village and every household and we will intervene in the rearing of livestock, particularly improving small stocks which will withstand the emerging climate change effects, Masuka said.

We are in the process of paying for 30 drilling rigs for DDF (District Development Fund) and another 30 for Zinwa (Zimbabwe National Water Authority) which should sink boreholes at all wards.  We will set up community nutrition gardens. Our target is 6 000 boreholes per year.

All these projects will be under the Presidential scheme whose aim is for the country to be a medium  income economy by year 2030.  Households will get mini-orchards and government will provide oranges, avocado and mango seedlings — 10 of each type.

We will also intervene with an aim to improve the quality of livestock, and will supply a million breeder goats under the pass-a-goat scheme, he said, adding that the goats would be of boer quality from South Africa.

Masuka also encouraged farmers to grow climate resilient crops and keep climate resilient livestock.

Some of the projects that Masuka visited included the Zhovhe Dam, Top Pick Farm belonging to South Africa-based business mogul Erasmus Marema, world renowned Bishopstone Citrus Estate and Schweppes’ Beitbridge Juice Plant in Beitbridge and dams and farms in Matabeleland South.

“Rural horticulture should be an economic driver where villagers can join out-grower schemes.  We appeal to commercial farmers to assist us realise that vision,” he said.

Some of the top government officials that accompanied Masuka include deputy Home Affairs minister Ruth Mavhungu Maboyi (Beitbridge West MP) and Albert Nguluvhe (Beitbridge East MP.

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