Mashudu Netsianda, senior reporter
VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga praised the presidential rural development program, saying it will play a critical role in reversing cross-border migration of communities living in areas along the border.
The presidential rural development program, which was officially launched by President Mnangagwa on Wednesday in the village of Jinjika, in the Makorokoro region of Mangwe district in South Matabeleland, will benefit more than 1.8 million households.
The program is in line with the criteria set out in the Agriculture and Food System Transformation Strategy, whose national goal is to see Zimbabwe achieve an agricultural economy of $ 8.2 billion by 2025.
The Makorokoro community was the first to benefit from the program, which will be replicated in 35,000 villages across the country to stimulate the necessary growth in the smallholder sector and boost rural development.
As part of the presidential rural development program, the government will dig and equip a borehole in each of the country’s 35,000 villages.
Each village will also have a nutritional garden with a wide range of fruit trees and sweet potatoes distributed to households.
In his remarks at the launch of the presidential rural development program, Vice President Chiwenga said the presidential program will reduce the rural exodus and create jobs for the youth of Makorokoro, which lies along the border, thus reversing cross-border migration to neighboring countries.
“The country is on the verge of reverse migration when people in urban areas start to see greener pastures in rural and peripheral areas of the country.
We will take advantage of the fertile soils and favorable climatic conditions existing in the areas along our border, ”he said.
“Not only will we reverse migration to urban areas, but reverse migration to Botswana and South Africa. We will build our own Zimbabwe as we want.
Vice President Chiwenga said the presidential rural development program was a giant leap towards achieving a self-sustaining upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“This is the start of a very important phase of the Second Republic’s efforts to empower and inclusive develop our rural communities in accordance with the direction of the people-centered government led by President His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa for s ‘ensure that no one and no place is left behind,’ he said.
“The President Rural Development Scheme is part of the government’s considerable efforts to improve our rural communities, thereby positioning them for the economic development of the country in pursuit of the aspired Vision 2030 whose achievement is increasingly becoming a reality for this country.”
Vice President Chiwenga said that, as stated in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) to propel the country towards Vision 2030, rural communities will no longer be assigned to peripheral but essential activities of the economy.
“It is encouraging to note that under this program, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, through various agencies and partners, will lead a program to establish a horticulture project in every village in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s National Water Authority is set to equip and drill boreholes in neighborhoods, villages and schools across the country, in line with the whole government approach. Thanks to the able leadership of President Mnangagwa, ”he said.
The vice president said the Second Republic is accelerating rural modernization and industrialization to create jobs, improve livelihoods and transform the lives of once marginalized rural communities.
“Villages across the country will be provided with nutritious gardens for the health and commercial good of millions of our hitherto marginalized people.
We will no longer have poor Zimbabweans but rich Zimbabweans because of President Mnangagwa, ”he said.
“It is satisfying to note that the presidential rural development program is part of the strategy for transforming the agricultural and food system as well as the rural industrialization program. “- @mashnets