SENIOR STAFF WRITER
THE government yesterday announced an ambitious horticulture project which will see 25 000 boreholes being sunk across the country.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare yesterday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the new initiative is set to increase food production in the country.
“The Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan focuses on two broad and mutually reinforcing areas, namely: a private sector-driven recovery of the conventional horticulture sub-sector; and a robust, inclusive and sustainable and transformative rural horticulture sub-sector.
“While the conventional Horticulture Recovery Plan will require US$1 047 719 284 from the private sector and partners, the Presidential Horticulture Scheme will cost US$187 million and cover 1,8 million rural households.
“The Presidential Horticulture Scheme will have the following components: household tree-planting; village nutrition gardens; ward-based youth vegetable and horticulture gardens and orchards; schools vegetable and horticulture projects; mainstreaming indigenous vegetables and fruits; research, development and innovation in production, processing and value addition and beneficiation; and domestic and export market development. Over 25 000 boreholes will be sunk in all villages and schools to ensure viability and anchor sustainability, and to climate-proof the Presidential Horticulture Scheme.”
Mutsvangwa also said Zimbabweans are now free to travel outside the country.
“Regarding international travel, Cabinet explained that citizens can travel outside the country as long as they meet the requirements of the receiving country. With regard to laboratory facilities, Cabinet noted that Lancet Laboratories commissioned its laboratory at Victoria Falls International Airport, and pledges to deliver PCR results within two hours for both arriving and departing travellers. The Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airports have similar private and public testing facilities.
“The task force will be dispatching teams to the country’s land and air ports of entry to assess their readiness in handling the large numbers associated with the complete opening up of the country to domestic and international flights,” she added.
Meanwhile, Labour minister Paul Mavima pleaded with civil servants, saying they must make reasonable demands.
“Please be (civil servants) realistic, exercise moderation in the manner you demand salary increases. We do not demand salary increases that will destabilise the economy. The economy is stabilising,” Mavima said.