President Mnangagwa to Grace Zim Irrigation Conference

In light of the El Nino-induced drought, the Government is leaving no stone unturned in crafting policies and strategies to climate-proof the nation against the increasingly unpredictable climatic phenomenon. This morning, President Emmerson Mnangagwa will officiate at the one-day Zimbabwe Irrigation Investment Conference, being held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

The conference is being held against the backdrop that the bulk of the country’s crop production is rain-fed. Therefore, there is a need to migrate towards a combination with irrigation-based precision or smart production, taking advantage of the country’s vast water bodies.

Running under the theme “Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable and Structured Irrigation Financing to Deliver Food Security Everywhere, Everyday,” the conference aims to attract investors to accelerate irrigation rehabilitation and development, particularly in the context of El Nino-induced drought.

The conference will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders, including:

  • Farmers and farmer unions
  • Investors and financial institutions (multilateral, local, and international)
  • Embassies, donor organizations, and UN agencies
  • NGOs, private sector companies, and universities
  • International and local irrigation and engineering institutions
  • Government representatives

The conference seeks to provide opportunities for public-private sector engagements to explore ways of climate-proofing agricultural production. It also aims to mobilize resources to complement Government efforts in irrigation development. Furthermore, it seeks to enhance food security by increasing irrigation development for cereal crops and other strategic crops.

President Mnangagwa has repeatedly stated that the Second Republic has put in place measures to ensure that no one will starve or die of hunger. These measures include availing grain to vulnerable communities, drilling boreholes, and setting up Village Business Units, which include nutrition gardens.

Under his tenure, the President has also pushed for the increased utilization of the country’s water bodies and associated irrigation infrastructure, which has seen the country exceed the winter wheat planting targets. The expected winter wheat harvest will bolster national food security and sovereignty. To the President’s credit, Zimbabwe has now set a target to increase land under irrigation from 350,000 hectares to 500,000 hectares by 2025.

Indeed, under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa, the Second Republic is determined to continue being a food self-sufficient nation, capable of feeding its people. This would certainly be achieved through the ongoing Government concerted efforts of increasing irrigation development for cereal crops and other strategic crops.

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