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» »Unlabelled » Shiri praises country’s cotton farming hub

Tinaani   Nyabereka

GWERU
– The Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement, Rtd Air Marshall Perence Shiri has said it was remarkable that the Midlands province's Gokwe district had maintained its record as the anchor of the country's cotton farming business over the years.
Speaking at the official opening of the 2018 Midlands Agricultural Show recently, Shiri urged farmers to continue working hard so that they could contribute more to the national economy.
He said government will continue supporting farmers with inputs under the Presidential Free Cotton Input Scheme.
"I am very much aware that major cotton production in our country is done in Gokwe and the Honourable Minister of State here (Owen Ncube) has been very busy with the distribution of not only cotton inputs but also of cereals such as maize and sorghum.
"We therefore hope that this year, Gokwe will maintain its status because inputs are being made available. What we are doing is to identify farmers interested in cotton farming so that we can motivate them with inputs. We don't have enough farmers who are serious about cotton farming," said Shiri.
He also applauded the Midlands' contribution to livestock production, saying Zimbabwe had been among the best beef producer in the world, thanks to the province's efforts.
"Zimbabwe has been contributing much to the production of quality beef. We currently had been facing many challenges due to foot and mouth diseases but that is being dealt with and we look forward to starting maximum exportation of beef to get more foreign currency.
"Government is also promoting command livestock as we now have the command livestock programme. I hope we will have farmers who will come forward to take part in the programme. We are currently importing a lot of processed beef and chicken and we need to promote our local products and attain self-sufficiency," he said.
Shiri said the government was looking forward to purchasing more tractors and other forms of machinery to boost agriculture production.
 The show was held under the theme 'Steering the Economy to Vibrancy.'agriculture

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