Local

2 300 tractors boost for farmers

Zimbabwe will take delivery of 2 300 tractors and other farming implements procured under various facilities ahead of the 2022/2023 cropping season.

It will be the final consignment of an order of 3000 tractors made last year.

Seven hundred tractors have already been delivered.

Government is also working on three new farm mechanisation facilities valued at more than US$700 million expected to benefit both large-scale and smallholder farmers.

Chief director of mechanisation in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Engineer Edwin Samuel Zimhunga said most of the machinery was being imported from Belarus.

“The Government set an ambitious target of 3 000 tractors of various sizes and brands in the year 2022,” said Eng Zimhunga.

“We expect to receive all the tractors before the summer cropping season.

“To date, we have received in excess of 700 tractors under various facilities.

“The bulk of these are under the Belarus scheme, which is bringing more than 1 300 tractors.”

He said all farmers “are eligible to benefit from these facilities”.

Zimbabwe, he said, requires an estimated 40 000 tractors for optimum mechanisation of the sector. Presently, there are only 10 392 tractors in the country and just over 5 500 are functional.

Eng Zimhunga added Government was “crowding in” industry and financial institutions “to develop user-pays facilities” to inject impetus into the mechanisation programme.

“The efforts under these categories are encouraging.

“So far, we have two facilities set to be launched that are targeting 750 tractors (US$63 million) and 600 tractors (US$45 million) and other pipeline proposals of not less than US$625 million.”

A new facility to mechanise smallholder farmers’ operations is also in the works.

“These facilities are looking at every farmer across the structure of our farming communities; for example, from Pfumvudza, with small two-wheel walking tractors, to the A2, A1 and large commercial farms.” – Sunday Mail

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