But inspired by this vision, underpinned and buttressed by unity of purpose, transparency, accountability, dialogue and unswerving discipline, we shall realise our goals. Zimbabwe will rise again!
Comrades and Friends,
One of the most evident changes in the past few months has been the renewed spirit of unity, optimism and determination, among our people. Once again, we are free to dream, to hope, and to believe. This new spirit has spread outside our borders, and we are hugely encouraged by the goodwill our country continues to receive from around the world.
This renewed domestic and foreign investor confidence has seen our projected economic growth increase from 3.7 percent last year, to 4.5 percent in 2018. This upward momentum is underpinned by the positive performance in the agriculture, mining, tourism and construction sectors, and is further spurred by increased revenue performance following the plugging of revenue leakages.
Comrades and Friends,
My Government, building on the successes of Command Agriculture, is determined to ensure continued food self-sufficiency and nutrition, and increased land utilisation and productivity, through mechanisation and modernisation of our agriculture sector.
Command Agriculture, which now also includes cropping, livestock, fisheries and wildlife, has seen US$10 million being availed for beef cattle breeding, starting with livestock-related programmes in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South, and soon to include other parts of the country.
In line with sustainable resource utilisation and environmental management practices, my Government has also put in place strategies to resuscitate and protect the forestry industry. In agriculture, as in all fields, we are strongest when we work together.
We, therefore, applaud the private sector which has partnered my Government in delivering these initiatives, in response to our call for a united and collective approach to national economic rebuilding.
We are confident that these ongoing efforts will not only rejuvenate agro-value chain industries, but will also help improve the livelihood and incomes of our rural communities and equally contribute to the achievement of economic growth benchmarks.
Furthermore, my Government is taking measures to minimise the adverse effects of climate change through dam construction and acquisition of requisite equipment, to increase our irrigation capacity.
A budget of US$37 million has been set aside towards the National Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme. In addition, we continue to source modern irrigation equipment from around the world. Following my recent visit, the People’s Republic of China has pledged to assist in the drilling of boreholes throughout the country.
Meanwhile, we are encouraging development and investment in the agriculture engineering sub-sector, and are harnessing our human capital competencies in this area, so as to increase our own internal capacity to produce agriculture equipment. To date, Russia and Belarus have made firm commitments to set up agriculture and engineering plants in Zimbabwe.
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