/Zimbabwe Reworking the Agriculture and Food System Security Transformation Strategy

Zimbabwe Reworking the Agriculture and Food System Security Transformation Strategy

Zimbabwe Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement is revamping its agriculture and food security strategy to develop a streamlined and integrated National Agriculture Policy Framework, to ensure increase food and nutrition security, job creation, economic growth, and industrial recovery and growth, in line with the Vision 2030 meant to create a middle income economy.

The policy is meant to ensure agriculture contributes increase livestock and crop productivity, competitiveness to the tune of USD8.2 billion.

The policy seeks to explore how economic, environmental, marketing and market intelligence, production, and enabling factors to ensure a total recovery of the Zimbabwe agriculture sector that used to contribute 40% of the country’s GDP.

Speaking to delegates at Agriculture Policy Consultative Workshop in Gweru recently, Community Technology Development Organisation (CTDO), consultant, Dr.Emmanuel Mwakiwa, of the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resource Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zimbabwe said that the country is developing a comprehensive Agricultural marketing and trade policy with the pillars; Legal and regulatory, Macroeconomic and trading environment; Enhancing value addition in the Agriculture sector; Strengthening and building capacity to enhance marketing and trade and Cross cutting areas and issues.

Under Pillar 1 on Legal and regulatory, Macroeconomic and trading environment it has been noted that there is high number of stakeholders with regulatory functions and centralization of processing of documentation makes the ease of doing business difficult and compromises competitiveness.

Although contract farming is a key driver for value chains (Cotton, Tobacco and Sugar), there is lack of regulatory and monitoring mechanisms and farmers are facing major contractual challenges.

There has been no review of major policies related to agriculture marketing and trade and statutory instruments.

Under Pillar 2 meant to ensure enhancing value addition in the Agriculture sector, “There should be promotion of livestock based projects and small grains in the drier provinces and an emphasis on cash crops and more intensive livestock projects in the rainfall advantaged provinces, said Dr. Mwakiwa.

The prioritization in value addition should be based on region and agro-ecological zone.

The value addition infrastructure is now non-functional because of high supply side constraints.

 A market led production strategy is key to value chain development. The adoption and use of GMOs is expected to enhance productivity in the country.

Under Pillar 3 meant to ensure strengthening and building capacity to enhance marketing and trade; there is need to establish a reliable market and inform production requirements based on market research and development. A zone approach is coming out as a priority with value addition done in-situ.

There is need for developing both the production as well as market and trade capacities across the value chains through enhancing market infrastructure, training and information dissemination.

Lastly Pillar 4: Crosscutting issues seeks to explore the contribution of Gender; Finance, Market information. Climate change, Economic Stability, Health, Competition, Migration, Regional and International Economic Communities factors to agriculture growth, recovery and development.

By Francis Bingandadi Managing Editor AgriSeason