THE challenge by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to return the country to yester-year high levels of agricultural productivity is one that must be taken up by all.
As we have always said, the fate of our country is in our hands, none but ourselves can develop this land into a nation we can all be proud to call home.
The concept of productivity, productivity and productivity, indeed, is one that must grip every citizen.
However, what I want to emphasise is that this is not the first time attempts have been made to fully mechanise our agricultural sector to boost productivity.
Now we know what works and does not work.
In the mechanisation process we do not have to re-invent the wheel.
We know today that there are tractors and combine harvesters being destroyed by rust lying idle, distributed in yesteryear mechanisation programmes.
The equipment we are receiving today is of high quality, powerful enough to make large tracts of land highly productive.
However, lessons from the past have shown us that a ‘co-operative’ type of approach is what will bring out the most benefit from the equipment.
For instance, one combine haverster can service 20 to 50 farmers in a week. Thus will it not be prudent to distribute equipment to provinces and not individual farmers?
For example, a Government-led agro company can be formed that will be in-charge of all equipment and ensuring that land, in the country, has been made workable.
Every province would have a centralised equipment ‘office’ and its task would be to ensure that before every cropping season all land, meant for agriculture, has been tilled.
Come harvesting time, combine harvesters will be released from the same office, to harvest what needs to be harvested.
This process will ensure that maximum benefit is derived from the equipment.
A majority of our farmers are small-scale producers that do not require heavy machinery.
Heavy machinery will cause them more headaches than joy, for the equipment must be serviced every now and again, at a huge cost that might end up eating into farmers’ profits.
The equipment that has been brought, if efficiently and effectively used, is a game changer.
In no time our fields will flourish. In no time we will regain our former status as provider of the continent.
What is critical is to ensure that the scourge of corruption gets anywhere near this noble and life-affirming programme.
Let us put the equipment to work, for the motherland.
The President has lived up to his word and delivered.
Now the onus is on us to also deliver, in every corner of the country.
This is no time for naysayers.