Speaking at the launch, Mnangagwa said the strategy was drawn from the agriculture recovery and livestock growth plans.
“The agriculture and food systems transformation strategy, agriculture recovery plan and livestock growth plan respectively were initiated during the tenure of the late national hero and former Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Air Chief Marshall (Rtd) Perrance Shiri.
“Sadly he is not here with us to celebrate this milestone event. All the same, the strategy and plans are a bold statement of the legacy he was part of and constant reminder to the players in the agriculture sector to be more dedicated in the process of growing our economy,” Mnangagwa said.
“Agriculture is the nerve centre of Zimbabwe’s economy, contributing between 15 to 18 percent of our GDP, it is the centre pivot from which all other pillars of our economy radiate and the fountain of our manufacturing and tourism sectors as well as a key driver to social and infrastructure development among other aspects of the economy.”
Mnangagwa said the agriculture and food systems strategy was an integral part of the country’s national development agenda.
He said the agriculture development plan dovetailed well with other recovery plans for other sectors of the economy.
“I am pleased that this two pronged occasion comes at the heels of my recent launch of the US$5 billion tourism strategy in Victoria Falls as well as the earlier launch of the US$12 billion mining industry.
“The agriculture and food systems strategy complements the above and is an integral part of our national development agenda. This is aimed at industrialisation, modernisation and creating a sustainable investment environment for our society. The three reinforcing strategies envision the attainment of a US$25 billion economy in the three respective sectors by 2025.This ambitious and yet achievable economic projection enjoins all of us across the economic and social spectrum to be more productive and to work with greater synergies and collaboration,” he said.
The President said the success of the agriculture and food system transformation strategy would depend heavily on a coordinated and multi-sectoral approach.
He said government would continue supporting farmers to ensure the country achieves food security.
“My administration is indeed committed to end hunger and poverty in line with the aspirations of the UN SDGs and the 2014 AU, Malabo declaration hence the launch of this strategy fulfils our domestication of global instruments with regards to the realisation to the right to food and nutrition by our society.
“This action provides the compass to the agriculture sector to fully exploit inherent and the God given natural resources of land and water as well as our hard working human capital. We have set out result oriented interventions for implementation by farmers, these include the rebranded climate proofed presidential input support programme which has seen the introduction of the pfumvudza/conservation agricultural programme leveraging on our heritage based knowledge systems and practises”
He added: “Having observed a financial gap in our agricultural sector, government has transformed the business architecture of Agribank, turning it into a land bank for all farmers .The bank will provide comprehensive financial and other technical services to farmers as well as supporting all projects aimed at promoting private and community based agriculture and food system value chains.
“This intervention further seeks to strengthen the development of rural industry systems, broaden small holder farm mechanisation, improve yields, reduce post harvest losses, increase exports and enhance food nutrition among other elements.”
“I thus exhort all beneficiaries of the land reform programme to ensure responsible utilisation of the land bank to enhance overall land productivity,” he said.- New Ziana