Zimbabwe is among six African countries expected to receive about 50,000 tons of grains for free from Russia early next month as part of efforts to improve food security.

The relationship between Zimbabwe and Russia continues to grow, with the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa keeping its engagement and re-engagement on a positive path culminating in agreements with several countries in a bid to enhance cooperation across various sectors. .

The latest development is an implementation of the promise made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, last year in August.

Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Professor Obert Giri confirmed the development.

“Currently the grain is on the way. Now the grain is at sea. We expect 50,000 tons to arrive soon. This will go a long way in providing relief to farmers at a time when Zimbabwe is experiencing a weak summer agricultural season. We are grateful for the support provided by the government,” he said. .

In September last year, the government announced that private sector companies can now import maize without paying duties as part of additional precautions being taken to ensure that a potential reduction in rainfall this season as a result of the El Niño phenomenon will not lead to a point of inadequacy. Grain stocks.

Meanwhile, a fertilizer donation from Russia to Zimbabwe is now in Beira and will be distributed to the most vulnerable families supporting the current successful Presidential Input Programme.

Most of the 26,000-ton shipment is potash and nitrogen fertilisers, 16,000 tons of muriate of potash and 10,000 tons of ammonium nitrate.

President Putin also promised fertilizers in August last year.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Vangelis Haritatos said the fertilizers will be in the country within the next four weeks once the border operations are completed.

“Unfortunately, there are significant delays at this time of year at the port due to traffic, but we were able to communicate with our colleagues in Mozambique using the hard-working Zimbabwe Embassy officials who assured us that we would be given full priority.” .

“We therefore expect the actual fertilizer to enter Zimbabwe within the next four weeks. The donation is intended to be allocated to the most vulnerable families in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Deputy Minister Hariatatos thanked the Russian government saying that the donation will go a long way in supporting the most vulnerable families who have also participated in the agricultural transformation currently taking place in Zimbabwe.

“As you know, we are suffering from the effects of El Niño which has threatened our food production in Zimbabwe. Fortunately, our smart, environmentally friendly agriculture has come at the right time. Although the season is short, we are very optimistic that the season should perform relatively well.” Especially with the farmers who responded to the Ministry’s call to practice environmental conservation and smart agriculture, which is not limited only to technology, but also to the diversity of seeds planted as well as the ongoing agro-ecological zone depending on the type of crop being grown.

“We are very grateful to His Excellency President Ed Mnangagwa for truly opening up our country to the whole world, which has led to this very generous donation coming from the Russian Federation,” he said.

Latest reports indicate that the crop condition is good and the early planted crop is above knee level. Farmers are busy applying fertilizers while others are removing weeds.

The farmers welcomed the donation, saying it came at the right time when the majority needed it.

Ms Memory Kanenga from Warren Park 1 said good relations were crucial adding that this donation would change the lives of vulnerable people.

“This is a critical commitment that needs to be thanked. We are grateful for the donation as this will improve people’s lives. This is greatly appreciated,” she said.

Irvin Taungana of Kwadzana 1 called for rapid processing of leaves at the border so that farmers can get fertilizer on time.

“This is the right time to apply fertilizers, so we appeal to carry out operations on time to ensure we get a good harvest. We welcome the donation and expect our friendship with Russia to continue.”

Zimbabwe and Russia continue to deepen bilateral cooperation as the two countries share a long historical bond. Chronicle

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