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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Government celebrates agricultural milestones on World Food Day

Government celebrates agricultural milestones on World Food Day

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

THE government has reiterated its commitment towards improving the country’s food security, this came out at belated World Food Day commemorations held in Chipinge.

Speaking during the belated World Food Day commemorations, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Anxious Masuka reaffirmed the government’s commitment towards alleviating hunger in the country through transformative and sound agricultural policies.

“Climate change is worsening and intensifying water-related disasters, creating complex challenges and threatening lives and livelihoods, particularly for the vulnerable. Over the past two decades, climate-related disasters have intensified, floods and cyclones have increased affecting clean water availability and food and nutrition security and hydropower generation and derailing efforts around building sustainable and resilient communities and societies. In response, the government has developed various strategies to ensure water availability, build resilient agricultural systems and ensure food security, everywhere and every day.” he said.

He added, “The Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Plan targets to increase dam construction and area under irrigation to 350 000ha by 2025 in addition to adopting climate-proofed intensive conservation agriculture at the smallholder level.”

“These strategies have now enabled Zimbabwe to become food secure again after decades of perennial food insecurity. Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Government has launched a transformational borehole drilling programme whose objective is to drill a borehole in each of the country’s 35 000 villages and 9 600 schools and 4 800 Youth Business Units,” he said.

International partners, the World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation are impressed by the government’s efforts in promoting agriculture in the country.

“We think that the different policies that are currently being implemented by the government will get Zimbabwe back to its status as the bread basket of Africa and as partners, we are here to support that vision and contribute towards reviving agriculture as the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy,” said FAO Representative in Zimbabwe, Dr Patrice Talla.

WFP, Zimbabwe Country Director, Francesca Eldelmann said, It’s incredible to irrigation schemes like Bwerudza flourishing and providing sustenance to your families and surplus to support your communities.”

Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Hon Advocate Misheck Mugadza said, “As Manicaland Province, we have made sure that the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme is being implemented correctly so that we all play our part towards improving food availability in the country. We are grateful for the support we continue to receive from the government, particularly on inputs and irrigation.”

Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the Bwerudza Irrigation Scheme in Chipinge were overjoyed when the government pledged a tractor, a year’s supply of inputs, fertilisers and chemicals for the 456 farmers.

“We are grateful to the government for recognising our efforts at this irrigation scheme. We have been promised a tractor and enough inputs so we are looking forward to increasing production and converting our farming into a viable business,” said one of the beneficiaries.

Another added, “This is the beginning of development for our area. Our area is in Region 5 as such experiences high temperatures making irrigation the only viable way to produce food. The development of irrigation to us means we have been empowered and this is improve food security for our families and also push us to be commercial.”

“We are sustaining our livelihoods from the irrigation scheme. We can send our children to universities. The government continues to empower us because we are getting a tractor and a year’s supply of inputs and chemicals,” said another beneficiary.

The belated World Food Day commemoration was held under the theme, ‘Water is Life, Water is Food, leave no one behind’.

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