‘Let us leave no one behind in food security’

By Justin Mahlahla

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe is implementing agricultural strategies and policies to ensure household and national food security.

In his address to the United Nations Food Systems Summit held during the UN General Assembly, President Mnangagwa said actors in the food systems value chain must leave no one behind in the quest for food security.

“Population growth, changing consumption patterns, land degradation, biodiversity loss and increased urbanisation are straining the ability of supply chains to provide food sustainably. Those who are already vulnerable are the most affected,” he said.

“Against this background, it is imperative that we develop more sustainable ways of producing, processing, accessing and utilising food.

“Zimbabwe continues to implement a food systems approach that aims to achieve safe and nutritious food and consumption patterns for all in its quest to meet the SDGs.”

President Mnangagwa said his government us implementing the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation strategy towards reviving restructuring and transforming agriculture.

“This is cost-cutting and seeks to improve climate resilience through accelerated irrigation development, farm mechanisation and technology-based crop, livestock, land water management systems.

“The strategy is envisaged to accelerate rural development as well as result in equitable access to safe and nutritious food for all, while building resilience to vulnerabilities and shocks.”

“Due attention is given to the adoption of food system solutions achieving the targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the country’s nationally-determined contributed under the Paris Agreement,” he added.

He said: “The remarkable successes registered to date under my country’s various agricultural initiatives include increased production and productivity by small-holder and communal farmers inclusive of women and youth, sustainable utilisation of land and improved incomes for rural communities.

“This is against the fact that Zimbabwe continues to be restrained from realising her full potential due to the unfavourable environment brought about by over two decades of sanctions imposed on us by some Western powers, the vagaries of climate change and the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

President Mnangagwa reiterated the need to place urgent emphasis on the nexus between food and the health of the planet, given that climate change is both a driver and a consequence of hunger.

“As such, concerted effort must be made to enhance the resilience and sustainability of agriculture and food production systems. The importance of exchanging experiences and best practices including appropriate technologies cannot be over emphasised.”

He said partnerships remain critical as nations reach out and draw from the various competencies in their respective countries.

“All of us have a stake in food systems and must play a part towards ending hunger and malnutrition as well as protecting the environment and enhancing equitable development.

“I wish to call our partners to increase financial support and capacity building to the most vulnerable targeting institutions and actors along the food systems value chain. With unity of purpose, we will truly build a fairer and more sustainable world which leaves no one behind.”

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