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3000 hectares of wheat in Mat North – Bulawayo24 News

FARMERS in Matabeleland North have increased their wheat hectarage from last year’s 950 hectares to about 3 000 hectares as the province moves towards enhancing the country’s food security and attainment of a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy in line with Vision 2030.

Food insecurity is a global threat affecting almost every nation with Zimbabwe not spared. The global food crisis has been triggered mainly by prolonged droughts due to climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the on-going Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has affected the global food supply chain.

Ukraine contributed 30 percent worldwide supply of the wheat. Following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Government took a bold step to increase wheat farming and expects to produce a record high harvest of 380 000 tonnes this year since the 1960s when Zimbabwe planted its first wheat crop.

The country requires about 360 000 tonnes of wheat annually and will have a surplus of the crop, thanks to a well-coordinated programme by Government and private sector players.

While in some parts of the country, harvesting of the crop has started, farmers in Matabeleland North expect to commence the exercise next week with more farmers expected to join in next month.

The province has new wheat farmers who also want to be part of the initiative to transforming the country’s agriculture sector to ensure food self- sufficiency for the country.

It’s not only farmers with vast tracts of lands who planted the winter wheat crop, but small-scale farmers are also involved.

One of the new wheat farmers, Mr Collin Mujuru of Nyamandlovu in Umguza District planted 2,5 hectares and is optimistic of recording a bumper harvest.

“I was encouraged by other farmers in the district to also venture into wheat farming since it is a cash crop. I am also one of the farmers who benefited from the Presidential Inputs Scheme although I complemented by buying some of the required chemicals,” he said.

Mr Mujuru hopes to harvest the crop in November.

Acting provincial director for Agricultural Rural Development and Advisory Services in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North, Mr Dumisani Nyoni said wheat production in the province was impressive.

“We have 2 860 hectares that we planted this year compared to 950 hectares that we had planted last year. We partly attribute the increase in wheat production to Arda Jotsholo which significantly increased its wheat crop production due to improved access to water,” he said.

“In addition to that, the line of funding also increased. We had four different options for funding, which included the Presidential Inputs Scheme, CBZ, self-funding and farmers who were contracted by Food Crop Contractors Associations where the private sector contributed to improved crop production.”

Mr Nyoni said for the first-time wheat farmers to realise their full potential, they require a lot of technical and financial assistance.

“These farmers encounter a lot of challenges, and for instance, if the pump they will be using breaks down, it takes longer for them to fix the pump resulting the crop being affected,” he said.

 “More credit lines for these small-scale farmers should be availed so that they can easily access funding in the event of encountering such challenges during the cropping period.”

Mr Nyoni said farmers in the Matabeleland region have a potential to contribute more to the national basket.



He said the 10 000 hectares that have been identified for irrigation purposes upon completion of Lake Gwayi will be a game changer for the region.

“We expect that the region will become food sufficient especially with those 10 000 hectares that have been identified for irrigation farming along the Lake Gwayi-Shangani pipeline. We want the region to be counted when it comes to food self-sufficiency in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Nyoni

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo, who is also a farmer with a thriving wheat crop said, it is encouraging that the region is contributing towards enhancing food security in the country.

The minister planted 24 hectares of wheat, which he expects to harvest next month.

“We are walking the talk in terms of implementing Government projects. This is why I’m also involved in wheat farming, following in the footsteps of President Mnangagwa who is also a farmer at his Sherwood Farm in Kwekwe,” said Minister Moyo.

 “By embracing Government projects, it becomes even easier for me to tell farmers of the need to contribute to the national basket.”

Minister Moyo urged farmers to be productive on their pieces of land so that there is import substitution.

“When as a country, we stop importing food, the foreign currency will then be channelled towards the productive sectors and improve the performance of our economic growth,” he said.

Launching the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) in November 2020, President Mnangagwa said under the five-year Government economic blue-print, all sectors of the economy are obliged to increase their productivity.

Under the NDS1, more resources and greater momentum are being injected towards dam construction and efficient irrigation systems.

The Second Republic has made food security a top priority and is working towards a US$8,2 billion agriculture industry economy, contributing 20 percent of GDP by 2025, underpinned by the country’s NDS1 — the driver towards Vision 2030 to make Zimbabwe an upper middle-class economy.

Efforts being made by the Second Republic will cumulatively see the country achieve the US$8,2 billion agriculture sector economy.

In 2019, the Government introduced the Climate-Proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme, popularly known as Intwasa/Pfumvudza.

The Pfumvudza farming concept is a sustainable way of crop production intensification whereby farmers use few resources, expend energy on a smaller piece of land, thereby reducing labour.

Thus, farming through the Pfumvudza concept allows the country to gain economic stability, decrease food insecurity and empower farmers to not only feed the nation but other regional countries.

Intwasa/Pfumvudza was recently recognised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). It was awarded a local research and farming institution, Foundation for Farming (FfF), with a Partnership Award.

FAO said FfF’s Intwasa/Pfumvudza farming initiative helped about nine million Zimbabweans to achieve household food security.

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Australia begins drilling in the US sanctioned Zimbabwe, and that’s one hell of a move – TFI Global News

It seems that EU or the US allies are fast losing their influence in geopolitics. The new geopolitical realities are most certainly not in favour of the Western capitalists sitting in Washington and Brussels.

After its sanctions against Russia hardly worked, let alone yielding the desired results, it backfired so bad throwing the rich and prosperous Europe into an unprecedented energy crisis. Ever since then, European leaders are scouring the world to secure alternative energy sources.

Australia’s bold move to deepen ties with Zimbabwe

Now, Australia is deepening ties with Africa, Zimbabwe to be specific, despite US sanctions on the African nation for more than 2 decades now. Who would have thought that Zimbabwe will find a breather for its economy in Australia?

According to reports, Australian firm Invictus Energy Ltd (IVZ.AX) has started drilling one of two exploration wells for oil and gas in the northern part of Zimbabwe, the company said on Monday. With this Zimbabwe is anticipating the drilling of its first oil and gas well in the north of the country, close to the border with Mozambique, will bring in the much required relief from the unnecessary sanctions that are imposed upon it by the West.

(Source: NewZWire)

Invictus said in a statement that the drilling of the first well, Mukuyu-1 has begun and will last between 50 and 60 days. The company further said, Mukuyu will cost $16 million and is one of the largest oil and gas exploration prospects to be drilled globally in 2022, estimated at 20 trillion cubic feet and 845 million barrels of conventional gas condensate, or about 4.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The new oil and gas well will be 3.5km deep to be drilled by the Australian firm Invictus Energy in partnership with the government of Zimbabwe. The company said that Mukuyu-1 will be followed by the 1.5 km deep well, Baobab-1, which will be completed in 30-40 days.

A win-win for both Australia and Zimbabwe

Australia is not a part of the NATO or the European Union.  In a situation where even the US after promising all assistance to Europe, left it to fend for itself in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war and consequent energy crisis in Europe, it has been abundantly established that every country is looking for fulfilling its own national interest. Australia not being a member of the either abovementioned makes it free from all kind of obligations these so called brotherhoods impose upon its members when it comes to blindly imposing sanctions etc. The short-sightedness is proving fatal for the EU, USA and their blind followers around the world, especially the ones in Europe.

Europe after mindlessly imposing sanctions on Russia, has been struggling to cope with an unprecedented energy crisis. It depended on Russia’s natural gas for years to run factories, generate electricity and heat homes. However, after Russia chocked off the supplies, Europe has been forced into a desperate scramble for new supplies and alternative sources, as high energy prices are already threatening to cause a recession.

Now Europe has started to almost beg its way into Africa to exploit its vast reserves of untapped natural resources. Too bad for Europe, that this time it can’t dictate its terms to Africa, like it has been doing till now, as beggars cannot be choosers.

To save itself from the disaster that waits, it has been looking for new energy sources. So at a time, when Europe or even the US can explore new ways of safeguarding national interest faced with the challenge of Russia-Ukraine war, why should Australia stay behind?

Australia is acting in its own national interest and beginning drilling in US sanctioned Zimbabwe is a bold move. Zimbabwe is a resource rich country with mines of gold, diamond, platinum, palladium and many other minerals. Mineral exports account for about 16% of Harare’s GDP. However, two-decade-old US sanctions have devastated Zimbabwe’s economy and its people are suffering.

Read More: Here’s why USA’s “Operation Zimbabwe” against Russia is a dead duck from the start

Finally Zimbabwe sees a glimmer of hope by deepening ties with Australia.

Now the time has come, when like many other African nations, Zimbabwe too hopes to join the league of oil producing economies. If all goes well, this will be a significant economic breakthrough for the country that could potentially change its fortunes forever. The project could improve Zimbabwe’s power supplies and economy and it has been hailed as a ‘game-changer’. Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed his excitement for the potential oil and gas discovery and maintained that it presents “huge, unique and competitive investment opportunities”.

Zimbabwe needs trade and investment to grow its economy and with this project, Zimbabwe only stands to gain massively. It is a win-win for both Australia and Zimbabwe. Australia is clearly sending across the message that it is high time Europe realise, it needs to do away with its mentality of believing that the world’s problems are not its problems, however its problems are the world’s problems.

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economy

‘Drop Dangarembga charges,’ says Americans – Bulawayo24 News

UNITED States-based rights group PEN America has called on Zimbabwean authorities to drop charges against world acclaimed writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga.

The Harare-based writer will know her fate Thursday in case where she is charged with inciting public violence.

“Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested for exercising her right to peaceful protest,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Centre.

“Her arrest and the long drawn out trial against her is clearly intended to send a frightening message to anyone in Zimbabwe who wants to exercise their right to free expression and criticize their government.

“If she is convicted on these spurious charges, it will further stifle free expression and human rights in Zimbabwe. We urge the authorities to immediately drop the charges and to respect and uphold the right to free expression and association.”

Dangarembga was arrested alongside journalist Julie Barnes in July 2020 for joining a peaceful demonstration criticizing the Zimbabwean government’s efforts to handle corruption and the struggling economy.

Both were charged with breaking COVID-19 lockdown measures to hold an illegal gathering and inciting violence in the Anti-Corruption Court – the only court that does not report to the Justice Ministry, but directly to the president’s office.

The trial has been delayed over the course of the last two years, and Dangarembga appeared in court nearly 30 times.

She is recognized internationally for her work; her latest novel, This Mournable Body, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 2020. Her debut novel, Nervous Conditions (1988), was the first to be published in English by a Black woman from Zimbabwe, and was named by the BBC as one of the top 100 books that have shaped the world.

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economy

PEN America Calls for Spurious Charges to be Dropped Against Writer, Playwright, and Filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembgaon in Zimbabwe – PEN America

Acclaimed Author, Short-listed for Booker Prize, Was Arrested at Peaceful Protest Criticizing Government on Corruption

 (NEW YORK) – Ahead of the verdict slated to be handed down on Sept. 29 against writer, playwright, and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga spurious charges of inciting public violence in 2020, PEN America today called on Zimbabwean authorities to immediately vacate the charges. If convicted, Dangarembga faces several years in prison.

Dangarembga is recognized internationally for her work; her latest novel, This Mournable Body, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 2020. Her debut novel, Nervous Conditions (1988), was the first to be published in English by a Black woman from Zimbabwe, and was named by the BBC as one of the top 100 books that have shaped the world.

“Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested for exercising her right to peaceful protest. Her arrest and the long drawn out trial against her is clearly intended to send a frightening message to anyone in Zimbabwe who wants to exercise their right to free expression and criticize their government,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Center. “If she is convicted on these spurious charges, it will further stifle free expression and human rights in Zimbabwe. We urge the authorities to immediately drop the charges and to respect and uphold the right to free expression and association.”

She was arrested alongside journalist Julie Barnes in July 2020 for joining a peaceful demonstration criticizing the Zimbabwean government’s efforts to handle corruption and the struggling economy. Both were charged with breaking COVID-19 lockdown measures to hold an illegal gathering and inciting violence in the Anti-Corruption Court—the only court that does not report to the Justice Ministry, but directly to the president’s office. The trial has been delayed over the course of the last two years, and Dangarembga appeared in court nearly 30 times.

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