Agro value chains under scrutiny

By Stanley James

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa had an appreciation of the role of agro-value chains in economic development when he toured several stands at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show accompanied by his Botswana counterpart Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.

The tour was an opportunity for agriculture value chains to exchange notes with the country’s leadership on growth strategies.                         

Bilateral relations emerged as the key highlight at the Botswana exhibition stand that also showcased possible areas for trade cooperation.                    

The Second Republic thrust on rural industrialisation also took centre stage as President Mnangagwa had an opportunity to assess areas of progress while being briefed on future plans.                                 

Capacitating small holder value chains and the inclusion of women in agricultural activities also charmed the country’s leadership on the back of increased exhibitions.                          

Attention was also drawn to tobacco as one of the country’s top foreign currency earners as authorities had an opportunity to meet regulators of the industry on growth projections for the future.                           

Zimbabwe has set a US$12 billion mining economy target by next year to the extent that top officials from mining entities exhibiting at the show had a chat with President Mnangagwa on the resource sector roadmap.                           

Seed production is key in agro value chains, with its availability and sufficiency ahead of the summer cropping season high on the agenda during the exhibitions tour.             

The role of banks on sustaining agro value chains also came under the spotlight, with President Mnangagwa being briefed by officials from a top agro yield financier on efforts to ensure access to loans at affordable lending rates.                   

Mechanisation systems in the development of agriculture through latest technology and adaptation to climate shocks attracted interest from the country’s leadership due to improved quality of exhibitions.

 Zimbabwe’s efforts in restoring confidence in the livestock sector under a five year growth plan also charmed President Mnangagwa and President Masisi who got an insight of progress in beef, dairy, sheep, goats, fish, chicken and pig production.