Agriculture remains the single largest economic pillar that can drive people into prosperity, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said.
VP Chiwenga said this at the 11th Annual National Agri-Business Conference at the ongoing Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in Harare yesterday.
The conference, which is co-hosted by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) and the National Economic Consultative Forum, was held under the theme “Sustained Growth: Climate and Technology Adaptation; Productivity; Linkages”. The theme feeds into the national agriculture development plan through which Government is keen to harness and marshal all variables towards sustained productivity.
With President Mnangagwa having amplified the need for rapid economic growth, VP Chiwenga said agriculture was the single largest sector that could champion this spider web approach.
“It is critical to note that at least 67 percent of the population relies on agricultural activities,” he said. “The sector also supplies 60 percent of the raw materials required by the industrial sector and contributes 40 percent of total export earnings in Zimbabwe.
“Therefore, it is imperative to leave no one behind in coming up with action-oriented policies pertaining to this critical pillar of our economy.”
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga addresses delegates at the 11th Annual National Agribusiness Conference at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in Harare yesterday
Government would intensify rural development and industrialisation anchored on the Agriculture 8.0 model, which encompassed Presidential Input Programme — Pfumvudza/Intwasa, Presidential Input Programme for Cotton, Presidential Communities Fisheries Programme, Presidential Rural Poultry Programme, Presidential Blitz Tick Grease Programme, Presidential Goat Pass on Scheme, and Vision 2030 Accelerator Model.
“Such inclusivity will ensure that we achieve sustainable food self-sufficiency and nutrition as we march towards achieving an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030,” said VP Chiwenga.
“Under the Second Republic, we have witnessed a remarkable transformation of our agricultural sector, as evidenced by increased productivity, improved farming practices and enhanced support systems for farmers.
“In the 2022/2023 season, the country achieved a bumper harvest owing to climate-smart agriculture and other government initiatives that promote the efficient use of resources and tackle the challenges associated with climate change. Government has accelerated construction of dams and intensified irrigation farming to reduce the effects of recurrent droughts.
“Under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa, Government is committed to increasing agricultural output in order to meet and exceed national requirements for both human consumption and industrial use.”
It was worth noting that the agriculture sector, initially projected to grow by four percent in 2023, was now projected to grow by 9.7
To enhance agricultural industrialisation, Government would put in place a policy to ensure value chain industries and processed goods for export under tobacco, citrus and fish farming.
This would be achieved through aggregation, that was bringing together farmers growing the same crop to create a larger and more consistent supply to meet consumer and export demands.
The Second Republic would continue to provide the necessary resources such as, machinery, fertilisers, agricultural technologies and extension services, that are critical in empowering our farmers, boosting their yields and earnings.
Government would also continue to create a conducive environment that attracted and supported market-based investments.
A number of investors in fertiliser making, fish, wheat, and cattle farming had been engaged and were in the process of finalising the necessary agreements with the relevant line Ministries.
“This will facilitate long-term farm mechanisation programmes, research in new varieties, technology transfer and ultimately food self-sufficiency in the face of climate change,” said VP Chiwenga.
He hailed the peaceful elections that prevailed before, during and after the harmonised elections.
“I appeal to you fellow citizens to maintain this peace,” said VP Chiwenga. “The period was characterised by tranquillity, love and a sense of unity of purpose among the people of Zimbabwe. You are all aware that Zimbabwe is our homeland.
“We should nurture and develop it together. It is, therefore, imperative that we continue to foster and maintain peace, love and harmony. If we love our country and desist from self-hate, it will create a conducive environment for the growth and prosperity of the economy.”
VP Chiwenga noted that the biggest foundation for the attainment of these economic development plans was to continue under the visionary leadership of the re-elected President Mnangagwa.