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35 000 business units to be established in rural areas

35 000 business units to be established in rural areas

Story by Wellington Makonese

THE government is reviewing the Agriculture Food Systems Strategy to incorporate the rural development aspect that seeks to establish 35 000 agriculture business units for accelerated rural industrialisation.

Riding on the success of the Agriculture Recovery and Growth Plan, the Second Republic has upscaled its drive to transform the sector into a key driver of inclusive development.

As such, the Agriculture Food Strategy will now be reviewed to become the Agriculture Food System and Rural Development Strategy, in a move set to see smallholder farmers running viable business units.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka said, “There is a nexus between agriculture development, rural development, rural industrialisation and rural development catalyses Vision 2030 which President Emmerson Mnangagwa enunciated through Rural Development 8.0. Rural Development 8.0 is a cocktail of outcome based measures. So we are in the process of reviewing the Agriculture Food System Strategy to become agriculture food systems and rural development transformation strategy. It is the core of President Mnangagwa legacy [and] it seeks to establish 35 000 business units in each village, 4000 youth business units and 9 600 more for villages.”

The development will see more irrigation schemes being established, while others will be rescucitated.

He added, “460 irrigation schemes are at various stages of resuscitation. The government has committed to resuscitating 100 schemes each year and we want to transform them into business units that are supported by our banking sector, by government.”

For legislators, the new strategy will unlock the potential for agriculture-led growth of rural communities.

“The agriculture practices in the country require constant policy reviews so that the players in the agric sector know how to participate in the agriculture value chain,” said Honourable Maxmore Njanji.

Honourable Torerai Moyo added, “We come from constituencies where farming is haphazard, the idea of policy framework review that is cascaded to the farmer will allow for the farmer to know how to contribute meaningfully to the economy.”

The agriculture sector is the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy with 9.1 million people surviving through the sector, hence the government’s commitment to transform agricultural practices to become more productive and profitable.

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