The Minister of State in the office of Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Davison Marapira has been crowned the best 2020 Masvingo provincial producer farmer at the inaugural Zimlife Agriculture Merit Awards (ZAMA) held last Thursday at the State House in Harare.
The Masvingo North legislator also took third position in the national achievers award for mixed farming.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was the guest of honor at the colorful ceremony supported by his two deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
Marapira has been leading in the province flexing his farming prowess in winter wheat and maize production.
Marapira also brags of producing some of the finest cattle and goat breeds in the country and his farm has become a poster child for President Mnangagwa’s agricultural vision.
Speaking to TellZim News after the ceremony, the elated Marapira said that the awards will help to boost the morale of farmers and encourage positive competition which will make Zimbabwe food secure.
“These are the first Agriculture Awards where serious commercial farmers are awarded for their achievements. This will encourage us as farmers to keep on producing more and bring more research into our farms.
“Awards of this kind will bring serious competition in the field of agriculture and challenges farmers to think outside the box to maximize yields,” said Marapira.
He said livestock production has not been given enough recognition over the years but was happy the ‘new dispensation’ has done things differently.
“Livestock farmers have been forgotten but animal meat brings a lot of protein on the table. Almost everything from animals is used in the production and manufacturing systems be it meat, blood, hides, skin and hooves.
“It is important to note that a country which imports basic food like maize, cooking oil, flour, meat and soya beans will have serious problems in balancing its books especially when it comes to balancing between imports and exports.
“There was a time when Zimbabwe used to import all things agriculture but President Mnangagwa came and changed all that. We should produce because we have the land.
“Agriculture is now being given the attention it deserves and I am happy our farmers are responding positively to the production call from our President,” said Marapira.
He said if agriculture is given enough support, it has the potential to employ many people thereby addressing the unemployment gap in the country.
“Good agriculture employees more than 70 percent of our people and it creates 70 percent of our raw materials. It also 30 percent of our foreign currency earnings and most of all it provides food and security to our people,” said Marapira.