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Information Minister Mutsvangwa


Information Minister Mutsvangwa


Cabinet received an update on the country’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and a Report on Procurement and Roll-Out of Vaccines, as presented by the Chairman of the Ministers’ COVID-19 National Committee, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Dr C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.


The nation is advised that as of 6 March 2022, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 239 209, with 228 774 recoveries and 5 339 deaths. The recovery rate stood at 96%, with 5 066 active cases having been recorded. This week the number of cases recorded went up to 3 234, compared to 2 623 last week.



Cabinet reports that during the week under review, the number of people in need of hospitalization for COVID- 19 increased. The bed occupancy rate increased from 2.0% last week to 3.2%. A total of eighty-one (81) new admissions were recorded during the week compared to fifty-one (51) last week.



No patient was admitted in the intensive care unit during the week. It is reported that an increase in mobility and number of gatherings across the country following therelaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions contributed to the increase in cases.



The following areas recorded the most significant number of new cases: Manicaland (863), Mashonaland East (609), Masvingo (584), and Mashonaland West (378).



On the national vaccination programme, as of 6 March, 2022, a total of 4 373 737 first doses have been administered, with 3 407 979 people having received their second dose and 140 252 their third dose.



The nation is informed that teacher attendance rose to 93.4%. COVID-19 surveillance continues in schools. While there were reported cases in schools, there were no severe cases and no reported hospital admission.



Cabinet advises that as the country continues to relax COVID-19 restrictions, risk based COVID-19 prevention measures must be promoted.



Furthermore, all businesses, communities and individuals are encouraged to pay attention to all COVID-19 prevention measures during gatherings.


All COVID-19 regulations should continue to be strictly adhered to.



Cabinet considered and adopted the First Round Crop and Livestock Assessment for the 2021 – 2022 Season as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr. Anxious Jongwe Masuka.



The nation is informed that the 2021/2022 Season was marked by a false start to the season in most areas of the country, followed by an unevenly distributed rainfall pattern both in space and time. The Presidential Input Scheme supplied inputs for the smallholder farmers under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, while the National Enhanced Agriculture Productivity Scheme (NEAPS) provided support for large scale farmers.



Contract farming from the private sector also provided inputs. Area planted to maize decreased by 1% from 1 920 541 hectares in the 2020/21 season to 1 903 669 hectares in 2021/2022. The area planted under maize for Pfumvudza/Intwasa is 342 860 hectares which is 18% of the total area planted.



Cabinet advises that there was a general decrease in the hectarage for crops planted as follows:- tobacco, 11%; sorghum, 2%; pearl millet, 25%: finger millet, 40%; and cotton, 23%. The area planted increased for the following crops:- rice, 97%; soya beans, 34%; and sunflower, 69%.


The bulk of the irrigated tobacco is ready for marketing, whilst the dry land crop is being harvested, cured and graded.



Pertaining to horticulture, the nation is informed that there was a general increase in the area under most of the perennial crops for the 2021/2022 season except for tea which decreased by 20%. Cabinet reports that the area under emerging crops, such as blueberries increased by 15% from 285 hectares to 328 hectares and pecan nuts increased by 36% from 550 hectares to 748 hectares in the 2021/2022 season. Furthermore, Irish potato production increased by 9%.



On livestock, Cabinet advises that the national beef cattle herd recorded a marginal growth of 0.6% from 5 478 648 cattle in 2020 to 5 509 983 in 2021. The cattle mortality rate declined from 11.1% in 2020 to 8.86% in 2021. There was an increase in the national small ruminents and pig population as follows: goats 7.1%; sheep 2%; and pigs 13%.



Cabinet advises that broiler breeders grew by 9%, day old chicks by 19%, and broiler meat production increased by 17%. Livestock diseases are the major cause of beef cattle, sheep and goat mortalities. Cabinet reports that the national dairy milk production increased by 3.8% from 76 695 157 litres in 2020 to 79 605 552 litres in 2021. It is pleasing to report that 790 317 stockowners benefitted from 1 000 000 kg/tick grease having been distributed under the Presidential Blitz Tick programme.


Furthermore, about 710 heifers were distributed under the Presidential Heifer Pass-on Scheme to youth and are kept at 10 provincial youth incubation hubs that have been established across the country.



Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that overally, the First Round Crop and Livestock Survey confirmed that climate change is upon us and affecting agricultural production. The nation is being assured that every effort is being made to ensure that no Zimbabwean will die of hunger. Adequate stocks of cereals are available for all needy families. Going forward, the



following measures have been put in place to mitigate the effects of climate change and guarantee household food self-sufficiency:
1. Ensuring that crops grown and livestock raised in an agro-ecological region will be determined by STET agro-ecological requirements therein;
2. Accelerating climate proofing strategies for small holder farmers, for example pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to have mandatory pre-conditions of training, holing out and mulching among other strategies;
3. Accelerating irrigation development targeting 50 000 hectares per year for A2 farmers, and ARDA will become food, feed, fibre, bio-fuels and seed security agent for the nation;
4. Building resilience by extending the Zunde raMambo/Isiphala seNkosi concept to include Village Heads and Headmen; and
5. Upgrading the Presidential Tick Grease Programme and intensifying the Dip Tank Rehabilitation Programme.


This is in line with the Second Republic’s mantra of “Leaving no-one and no place behind”



Cabinet received and adopted the Report on the State of Preparedness for the 2022 Winter Cereal Production which was presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr. Anxious Jongwe Masuka.


The nation is being informed that a total of 75 000 hectares has been targeted for wheat production during the 2022 winter cereal production season, compared to the 66 435 hectares planted in 2021.



The hectarage which will be sponsored by CBZ Agro-Yield, AFC Land Bank and Private
Sector contribution will bring total estimated production to 383 500 metric tonnes, against a national requirement of 360 000 metric tonnes, thereby ensuring that the country meets its domestic consumption needs. The breakdown of the hectarages and expected yields is as follows:


• CBZ Agro-Yield is targeting to contracting 36 500 hectares. At an estimated yield of 4.5 tonnes per hectare, the estimated production is 164 250 metric tonnes;
• AFC Land Bank is targeting at contracting 10 000 hectares. At an estimated yield of 4.5 tonnes per hectare, the estimated production is 45 000 metric tonnes;
• the Private sector will contract 23 000 hectares for wheat. At an estimated yield of 6.5 tonnes per hectare, the estimated production is 149 500 metric tonnes;
• the Presidential Input Scheme will target at contracting 5 500 hectares for wheat, compared to the 5 000 hectares targeted in the 2021 season;
• a total of 7 000 hectares has been targeted for Barley production which will be wholly funded by the private sector; and • no winter maize production is envisaged as all efforts are directed at ensuring sufficient wheat for the country.



Farmers are being advised that the country has enough certified wheat seed, fertilisers and chemicals in stock for the 2022 winter cereal production season.



With a view to augmenting the existing tractor fleet and implements, Government has put in place two mechanisation programmes, namely: the Belarus and John Deere Farm Mechanisation Facilities.



The US$103 million Belarus Farm Mechanisation Facilities is divided into two phases and will see the country receiving 1 813 tractors, 76 combine harvesters, 210 planters, 5 lowbed trucks and 5 disc harrows. The Agricultural Finance Corporation Equipment Leasing Company has received 210 tractors, 32 combine harvesters and 130 planters under Phase 1, which are currently accessible to all winter wheat farmers, while individual farmers can purchase the equipment through local banks.




Under the US$51 million John Deere Farm Mechanisation Facility, the country shall be receiving 1 300 tractors, 80 combine harvesters, 200 disc harrows, 600 planters, 100 boom sprayers and 100 trailers. To date 60 tractors, 35 combine harvesters, 66 disc harrows and 48 planters have been delivered and 60 tractors and 10 combine harvesters have been distributed.

There is sufficient water in dams to irrigate the 75 000 hectares.



Further, Cabinet has resolved that the preparations for an expanded winter wheat programme will be supported by timely Government guarantees and the facilitation of the private sector value chain financing. The Presidential Winter Wheat Programme will be funded wholly by Government to the tune of US$9 293 820. 00



The nation is being further informed that Cabinet approved the pre-planting wheat floor producer prices of ZW$175 741.86 per metric tonne for ordinary grade at a 15% return on investment, and ZW$193 316.046 per metric tonne for premium grade wheat. A viable producer price will incentivise farmers to commit more land to wheat production.




The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Honourable Z. Ziyambi presented a report back on Zimbabwe’s Review Under the Third Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland.


Government wishes to inform the nation that the Universal Periodic Review is a State driven process that provides an opportunity for each State to report on key human rights issues, successes, challenges, and periodically declare interventions implemented by the State to improve the protection, promotion of and respect for human rights within its jurisdiction.


The 190 United Nations Member States meet once every four years for this Review.


The Third Peer Review for Zimbabwe was presented on 26 January, 2022 at the Universal Periodic Review Working Group Meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland. The previous two peer reviews were conducted in 2011 and 2016.



Armenia, Luxembourg and Namibia were the three Member States that comprised the Troika that reviewed Zimbabwe. The National Report that was presented for the review is a product of extensive participatory stakeholder consultations held throughout the country.


During the interactive dialogue, Member States made various recommendations on
possible interventions to improve the human rights situation in the country.


Most countries commended the Government for the great strides taken in the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights. This is despite the economic sanctions imposed on the country, which limit fiscal space and thereby constrain Government’s ability to implement its human rights obligations.


Zimbabwe’s Review received a total of 264 recommendations from the peer review by Member States, most of which were accepted. The country is under obligation to communicate its final position to the Universal Periodic Review on the deferred recommendations before end of April 2022. The public will be kept abreast in this regard.




Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube informed Cabinet that Zimbabwe had been removed from the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force following an evaluation held in January 2022.



The Financial Action Task Force is an intergovernmental body tasked to develop and promote policies that combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The removal of Zimbabwe from the grey list is evidence of the confidence that the international community has in the country under the guidance of His Excellency the President Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa.





The nation is informed the His Excellency the President, Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa is visiting Kenya to attend the Zimbabwe-Kenya Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation. The Meeting is scheduled to run from 8 to 10 March 2022, as part of the Second Republic’s Engagement and Re-engagement drive


Robert Tapfumaneyi