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Africa must attain its common aspiration to feed itself, says President Mnangagwa

Story by Josephine Mugiyo

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the African continent must attain its common aspiration to be food secure.

He was speaking during the inaugural Zimbabwe irrigation conference held this Friday in Harare.

 “More than ever before, our food cereals, pastures and livestock now require more water and not necessarily rain. As stakeholders  in the sector we have a duty to guarantee food security for our nation and the region, continent and indeed humanity,” he said

A bold statement of  intent  calling  on  collaborative action to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, President  Mnangagwa has set the tone for the region to focus and invest more in smart agriculture models.

The country’s inaugural Irrigation  Conference was not only vital to provide a campus for Zimbabwe but also offered the direction which  Africa has to assume to safeguard their agricultural sectors against climate change vulnerabilities.

He added, “At this juncture, in our national, regional and continental quest to realise food security and sovereignty, essential resources must be appropriately channelled to complement state-funded irrigation development projects as well as improving efficiencies, production and productivity, in the agriculture sector.
Ultimately, we must attain our common aspiration to be a Continent that is able to feed itself.”

The country’s first-ever irrigation investment conference is among the measures to gather resources that will ensure the vast tracts of fertile land and more than 10 000 dams are used to maximum capacity for production.

The head of state also highlighted the various measures put in place by his government towards increasing agricultural output.

“To date, my Administration has rolled out the Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Agenda. Our paradigm has shifted through the deliberate expansion of our water harvesting and irrigation development programmes. This has seen the prioritisation of extensive dam construction, both in pace and scale, with corresponding development nodes which include power generation, fisheries, water and sanitation, to complement agriculture activity,” said the President.

Attention has also been drawn towards establishing village business units to ensure improved productivity.

“Additionally, the introduction of the Rural Development 8.0 Model, with a cocktail of measures designed to uplift the quality of livelihoods of rural communities has had far-reaching impacts. Among these transformative interventions, are the Village Business Units, which are being rolled out and will see the establishment of 35,000 agro-based companies across our villages. The model with boreholes and nutritional gardens, will result in intensive agriculture production, value addition and beneficiation centres,” he noted.

The call to action by  President  Mnangagwa comes to support critical steps adopted by Zimbabwe to combat climate change including adopting anticipatory risk insurance  and layering as well as scaling up resilience projects such as Pfumvudza /Intwasa.

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