Zimbabwean president urges nation to fully prepare for upcoming farming season

HARARE, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday urged the nation to fully prepare for the upcoming summer cropping season, in view of the good rains being expected in the country.

The country's Meteorological Services Department has predicted normal to above normal rainfall in Zimbabwe during the 2020/21 agricultural season.

The country suffered a drought last season, which resulted in a significant decline in agricultural output, including that of the staple maize and tobacco.

Officially opening the 110th edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS), Mnangagwa urged farmers and stakeholders to upscale land preparation and inputs distribution to ensure a bumper harvest.

"As we intensify preparations for the upcoming season, the deployment of appropriate mechanisms and knowledge sharing is critical."

"We must equally upscale land preparation and agricultural inputs delivery systems towards the attainment of a bumper harvest and our aspirations of a food and nutrition secure country," Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa commended the ZAS management for organizing the annual event amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally held in August of each year for one week, this year's event was moved to October due to the national lockdown which was in place, and is running for only four days from Oct. 28 to 31.

The president stressed the need for increased agricultural productivity and profitability, noting that the youth and women must be incentivized to engage in profitable farming and agro-business ventures.

Mnangagwa urged farmers to adopt modern irrigation technologies to conserve water, and called for industry and commerce to promote establishment of industries closer to farmers.

He said government will continue to offer support to agriculture, the mainstay of the country's economy.

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