Zim tops SADC agric support rankings

By Tendai Munengwa

ZIMBABWE is reigning supreme in Southern Africa after surpassing the target of the Maputo Declaration which calls on governments to commit 10 percent of the national budget to agriculture development.

Barely a week after Cabinet announced the wheat success story where farmers for the first time surpassed the 75 000 hectare target, the Second Republic’s tremendous support to agriculture has received regional recognition.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union Secretary General, Paul Zakaria who recently attended a regional farmers’ union meeting in South Africa came back with glad tidings after it emerged that Zimbabwe is the top ranked SADC nation in terms of agriculture support.

It is interesting that Zimbabwe came number one SADC country, this is after we surpassed the Maputo Declaration for the country to commit 10 percent of their budget to agriculture,” he said.

Experts in the sector such as Mr Edward Chimedza noted that the SADC recognition demonstrates the Second Republic’s resolve to achieve national food security.

“The Second Republic’s support to agriculture is commendable and goes to show how President Mnangagwa is committed to seeing a hunger free Zimbabwe. We used to be the bread basket of SADC and the recognition by SADC that we surpassed the Maputo Declaration by five folds is a reflection and evident of the government’s commitment which has seen treasury releasing another ZWL20 billion well ahead of the next summer season. We pray the rains will smile on us so that we produce bumper harvest,” said Chimedza.

While government has set the tone by availing ZWL20 billion for the next summer cropping season, observers believe it is imperative for stakeholders to ensure disbursement of inputs in good time.