By Owen Mandovha
The 2021 Mining and Agriculture Conference held at the ongoing Zimbabwe Agricultural show in Harare has demonstrated that investments by mining companies into the agriculture sector could be a game changer in economic recovery.
Their core mandate is exploration of the vast mineral resources which is earning the country 66 percent of foreign currency inflows.
However, in recent years, mining companies have elevated their participation in agriculture from just corporate social responsibility to investments which are proving essential in the national economic turnaround.
Government continues to prop up synergies between these two critical economic sectors and when miners and farmers converged at the Mining and Agriculture business breakfast at the ongoing Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in Harare this Tuesday, the pledge was to strengthen these partnerships.
“Mining and Agriculture industries are expected to contribute a combined US$20 billion by the year 2023 and of late mining companies have increased their investments in agriculture, which is helping in great detail the economic recovery of the country,” the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Vangelis Haritatos said.
The Deputy Minister Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Polite Kambamura said: “Mining remains a key sector in the country’s economy and their participation in agriculture is welcome given the fact that minerals are a finite resource so their investments will have a huge impact in the future growth of the economy.”
A local Platinum miner, which is now a torch-bearer in contributing to agriculture growth with investments in the livestock sector, is eager to continue contributing towards rebuilding the national dairy and beef herd.
“As Zimplats we have made it a policy as a company to invest in agriculture especially in dairy and beef sectors,” Zimplats Public Relations Manager, Busi Chindove said.
This comes a month after President Emmerson Mnangagwa presided over the historic launch of the massive US$15 million livestock resuscitation project by the platinum producer, which availed 5000 beef cattle and 5000 dairy cows in a major boost for the Livestock Growth Plan.
From its investments, the firm expects to produce over 130 tonnes of beef per month and 25 million litres of milk annually, which will ease milk shortages in the country.