US$10 million market and seed project launched

By Wellington Makonese

The agriculture sector is poised for further growth after the launch of a US$10 million r Market and Seed Access project in Harare this Friday.

In the of face climate change, adoption of drought resistant crops in small grains has been identified as the best way to ensure national food security and this has been boosted by the launch of the project courtesy of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, targeting small holder farmers to improve seed varieties and open markets.

“Decades to come, humanitarian aid is good, but more importantly is having sustainable ways on how to prepare small holder farmers to face climate change. Small holder farmers and climate seed is an important entry point, but we also working on aspects of crop insurance,” noted Mr Manuel Thunhorfer, Head of Development Cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

“Our organisation is playing its part of the broader initiative, trying to join forces on different programmes, bridging and working together and this is what we need to achieve,” said Mr Frank Porte, European Union Head of Cooperation Team Europe Initiative in Zimbabwe.

Government sees the collaborations as huge steps towards commercialising the agriculture sector.

Mr Dumisani Kutywayo from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Climate, Water and Rural Resettlement said, ” Agriculture is the mainstay of the Zimbabwe’s economic revitalisation drive and this programme is in sync with the quest to have a resilient sector fully commercial.”

The first phase of the project is targeting Tsholotsho and Gwanda, with sorghum leading the list of small grains, while Zambia is also conducting a similar programme.

Government initiated the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa programme as a drought busting measure and the programme has come with notable success.