Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, says the Covid-19 Omicron Variant has now been detected in Zimbabwe, urging the nation to be more vigilant in observing preventive measures.

Officiating at a Federation of Young Farmers Clubs Awards ceremony in Harare this Thursday, Vice President Chiwenga revealed that the Omicron Covid-19 variant is now in the country, imploring Zimbabweans to get vaccinated and continue following World Health Organisation guidelines.

“We have done genomic sequencing and we now have the virus in the country. Let’s all follow Covid-19 preventative measures and get vaccinated,” he said.

This Tuesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa reviewed lockdown measures in order to deal with the risk presented by the new variant.

Meanwhile, Government says young farmers have a critical role to play in the Agricultural Recovery Plan to bolder national food security which begins at household level.

This came out when young farmers were awarded for excelling in the agricultural sector at a ceremony held at the Zimbabwe Agriculture Society (ZAS) Exhibition Park in Harare this Thursday.

Vice President Chiwenga, who was the Guest of Honour at the awards ceremony organised by the Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, spoke on the contribution of young farmers to the Agricultural Recovery Plan and the Food Systems Transformation Strategy.

“The Agric recovery plan is being implemented in a space where the Agriculture and food systems transformation strategy broadly spells out the roadmap of ensuring an 8,2 billion-dollar agriculture industry,” said Vice President Chiwenga.

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka challenged young farmers to treat farming as a serious business as the country is poised for another bumper harvest this summer cropping season.

“It is high time young farmers take Agriculture seriously as a business. We are expecting a bumper harvest this farming season with a good rainfall pattern expected this season,” he said.

An ambitious target of inspiring one million young farmers towards a one billion United States dollar agricultural industry by 2023 has also been set.

Advisory Board chairperson Denis Zaranyika said: “We have developed a young farmer network strategy and young farmers are aiming at a one billion-dollar agricultural industry by 2023.”

Several young farmers walked away with prizes in different categories that include horticulture, pig and dairy producer of the year.