President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to propel Zimbabwe to reclaim Africa’s Breadbasket crown through implementing a series of adjustments in the country’s Agriculture systems.
He made the remarks on Thursday while presenting at the high-level virtual meeting on feeding Africa , under the theme “Leadership to scale up successful innovations”.
This high-level dialogue was attended by Heads of States and Government.
Mnangagwa said African countries must share experiences on technology and innovations to transform agriculture.
“Once more we shall become the breadbasket of Africa. In Zimbabwe between 2020 and 2021, crop yield is expected to increase by 199% for maize harvest, 128% for the harvest of traditional grains (and) 94% for cotton harvest,” President Mnangagwa said on Twitter.
President Mnangagwa said his Government launched the National Development Strategy 1 aimed at attaining a “Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Status by 2030,” whose main thrust is to achieve food and nutrition security and accelerate value addition and beneficiation.
According to him Zimbabwe’s Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy launched last year premised on achieving a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025, is anchored on climate-smart technologies, extension services and increased innovations.
“To alleviate the challenges associated with agriculture financing, the Agricultural Finance Corporation has been established. Models of strengthening existing contract farming arrangements are constantly reviewed to increase overall agriculture productivity, profitability, and fairness, over and above the access to finance aspect.”
Mnangagwa said there was a need for bold and decisive leadership to climate-proof agriculture against the vagaries of the weather as well as pandemics such as Covid-19.
“It is imperative that we ensure the existence of a well-functioning agriculture knowledge, technology and innovation ecosystem, anchored on requisite agronomic and animal husbandry practices.
“My Government has identified an array of key programs and projects for the transformation of agriculture. These include the climate-proofing Pfumvudza/lntwasa concept; design, construction, rehabilitation and expansion of irrigation infrastructure; adoption of efficient water use technologies; promotion of the highly nutritious traditional grains; agriculture mechanisation; as well as soil conditioning and fertility management, among others,” the President said.
The virtual meeting was also attended by the president of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr Akinwumi A Adesina, president of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Dr Gilbeft F Houngbo, executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Right Hon Tony Blair and chief executive officer of the Dangote Group, Mr Alhaji Aliko Dangote.