The Minister of State for Manicaland Cde Mandi Chimene says government cannot continue to be overburdened by unproductive agricultural extension officers who are doing a disservice to the land reform programme.
845 agricultural extension officers in Manicaland have been challenged to rise up to the task and ensure sufficient food security is attained in the province during the coming summer cropping season.
Despite the huge number of agricultural extension officers in the country, their contributions to the agricultural sector has not been strongly felt, amid allegations that many of them are not executing their duties due to continued absenteeism.
This has prompted Cde Chimene to engage all the extension officers in the province, to map out strategies for the attainment of food security in the coming season.
Minister Chimene warned extension officers that the laissez faire attitude and continued absenteeism should be a thing of the past as the government cannot continue to be overburdened by unproductive officers.
She said instead of empowering the villagers with vital agricultural information, many of the extension officers were betraying the land reform programme.
Traditional leaders said agricultural extension officers should enhance their visibility and equip villagers with vital farming information.
Traditional leaders were also implored to plant drought resistant crops and fast maturing seed varieties to counter the anticipated short rain season.
Manicaland province is this year targeting a total of 500 000 hectares of maize.