Rural dwellers challenged to plant trees

THE Lands ministry has encouraged rural dwellers to plant more trees in their homes as the government seeks to build an environment conscious generation under the Presidential Rural Horticulture Transformation Plan.

In a state of preparedness for the 2021/2022 agriculture season, the Lands ministry said the government was prioritising the planting of six variety fruit trees —  the passion fruit, pecan nuts, apple, guava, mango and macadamia nuts.                                                                                           

“Each targeted household will be given 10 trees of each fruit variety, depending on suitability of the fruit tree varieties to the agro-ecological regions and potential income to be generated.

“The first phase to December 2021 is targeting 500 000 seedlings at a cost of US$1,4 million ($119 billion) which includes the cost of seedling production and establishment of seven state-of-the-art nurseries.

“We will give seedlings to households according to region and also train them to climate proof their plants, trees and vegetables,” the report said.

Under the Presidential Rural Horticulture Transformation Plan the government has set aside US$1,2 million ($101 billion) for seedlings production.

Meanwhile, an environment-based organisation, Environment and Wildlife Conservation Alliance Zimbabwe (Ewcaz), has hailed the government’s efforts in protecting the environment through the planting of trees under the Presidential Rural  Horticulture Transformation Plan.

The organisation also urged environment players to emulate the government and embark on a tree-planting exercise.

“We really appreciate the government’s efforts in greening the environment. With the world grappling with the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, very little attention is given to the environment as people are busy working to put food on their families’ tables.

“As a result, environmental issues are now at the receiving end. We call upon corporate and civil society organisations to emulate what the government has done in saving our environment,” the organisation said.