Govt commends CIRAD for material and technical support
Harare (New Ziana) -The Zimbabwe government commended the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD) for the multi-sectoral and multilevel material and technical support that it has rendered to the country over the past 30 years.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Raphael Faranisi made the remarks at a function held at the residence of the French ambassador to Zimbabwe to mark 30 years of CIRAD’s presence in the country.
CIRAD works with its partners to build knowledge and solutions as well as to invent resilient farming systems for a more sustainable and inclusive sphere.
Faranisi said what began in Masvingo province in 1993 with the “Goat production in communal lands” project and a study on the comparative ecology of cattle and wild herbivores in an extensive mixed ranch area near Kadoma, has translated into three decades of solid partnership.
“This (partnership) has contributed to increased conservation of flora and fauna, safeguarded our rich biodiversity assets and also strengthened the resilience of our rural populations in view of the growing impact of climate change,” he said.
“This commitment that CIRAD has demonstrated during this very long period is remarkable and deserves a very warm applause of appreciation from us as a country.”
He added that the historic commemoration clearly reflected the desire by France to support Zimbabwe’s development.
“May I take this opportunity to reiterate Zimbabwe’s appreciation and acknowledgement of the positive and constructive bridge-building initiatives that France and Zimbabwe have been dialoguing on.
“There have been difficult times but the most important thing is that there has been dialogue and this demonstrates that the Second Republic is open and will not sweep anything under the carpet.
“I am delighted to note that CIRAD is committed to continue supporting programs to promote agro-ecology and smart agriculture for climate change adaptation and capacity building through training our people,” he said.
French ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Chevallier said he was happy to note that CIRAD projects in Zimbabwe had been growing over the years.
“Shortly after my arrival in Zimbabwe, I had the privilege to participate in the inauguration of a new laboratory set up at the University of Zimbabwe whose aim was to strengthen Zimbabwe’s capacity for animal disease control,” he said.
“I am happy to reveal that we are going to, in the next coming days, inaugurate a new project at the University of Zimbabwe campus and also a buffer zone at the Hwange National Park.”
Chevalluier commended the government of Zimbabwe for offering a conducive environment in which CIRAD was able to efficiently carry out its duties.
Over the years, CIRAD and its partners have achieved numerous milestones and successes in the country such as promoting sustainable use and harvest of game meat in rural areas, where local communities had poor access to animal protein.
It also constructed two research stations in peripheries of Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks as well as published more than 1 180 scientific articles and book chapters, among others.