The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has challenged YA FM, the organisers of the Tour de Great Dyke to incorporate agriculture as a key stakeholder in the premier cycling event.
The race kick-started on Thursday with the first lap from Selous running up to Kwekwe where the cyclists had to put up for the night. The second lap which began this Friday morning took the cyclists to Gweru and Shurugwi where the last lap runs to the finishing line in Zvishavane.
In an interview with Great Dyke News 24 in Gweru, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka said they are happy to be part of the fourth edition of Tour de Great Dyke.
“We are indeed pleased to participate in this Tour de Great Dyke, this is the fourth edition and it started with 10 cyclists and it has grown to 45. The event seeks to highlight and celebrate the ecosystem on the Great Dyke,” he said.
Dr Masuka also challenged the organizers of the event to promote agriculture as a complement of the mining sector.
“I dare say you need to add the very important element of agriculture, because Zimbabwe’s endowments are on the land and beneath it, agriculture is on the land and mining underneath it so we need to look at these two resources as complimentary and not competing so that we can eliminate farmer-miner conflicts,” the minister said.
Dr Masuka also praised mining companies for prioritizing agricultural activities beyond mining.
“The great strides that mining companies are making in investing in agriculture are most welcome. We are reminded of the mega investment by Zimplats to do livestock, we are reminded of the corporate social investment by Mimosa in the surrounding communities where they have developed livestock, horticulture projects and irrigation and we look forward to partnering them.
“Unki too has come in a big way in the cattle artificial insemination programme. These three mining giants have rarely invested in agriculture and this partnership ought to be celebrated, highlighted and illuminated,” Dr. Masuka said.
This year’s edition of the Tour de Great Dyke is running under the theme “Riding for Resilience”. Proceeds from the event will go towards charity and paying school fees for bright students under the Gifted Children Foundation.