Climate-smart agriculture takes limelight at ZITF

By Sifiso Sibanda

CLIMATE smart agriculture is one of the highlights at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), where precision farming through drip irrigation is being encouraged.

The need to adopt proven agricultural systems remains key to Zimbabwe as the country works on strategies to mitigate climate change induced drought.

“We are here at ZITF 2022 encouraging the adoption of proven systems of agriculture, chief among them being drip irrigation for the smallholder farmer and the centre pivot system so that we produce enough food for ourselves and export,” said agronomist, Mr Innocent Nyathi.

In the livestock sector, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is focusing on the production of fodder as a key strategy to reduce mortality rates.

Matabeleland South Provincial Livestock Officer, Mr Hatitye Muchemwa explained: “Our national focus on livestock is the commercialisation of the sector and as such the nutrition aspect is key, hence the encouragement for farmers to grow fodder crops for supplementary feed.”

The aspect of disease control is also critical and Dr Polex Moyo of the Veterinary Services Department says tick borne diseases continue to affect the national herd especially in the wet regions of the country.

“We are badly hit by animal diseases such as the January disease, which can be contained by regular dipping of animals and application of tick grease and that is our call to livestock farmers.”

Climate smart agriculture has been identified as a key strategy to ensure national food security which has been spurred on by the success of the climate-proof Pfumvudza/ Intwasa concept hence the need for the livestock sector to follow suit.